In last week’s NSSN bulletin, we headlined the strike that was due to take place from tomorrow by CWU members in Royal Mail. Disgracefully, a High Court judge has granted an injunction to management, forcing the union to postpone the strike for seven weeks to take part in external moderation. This is despite the CWU smashing the undemocratic voting thresholds in the new Tory Trade Union Act – the first national test of this anti-union law. This ruling has exposed the true meaning of the Tory’s intentions – to attempt to block the right of workers to take industrial action to protect their jobs, living standards and pensions.
The NSSN gives total solidarity to the postal workers and the CWU, one of our oldest affiliates. We will support whatever action their members take in their ‘four pillars’ campaign. And we call on the whole of the labour and trade union movement to come to their aid. We have invited the union to speak at our Solidarity Forum this Saturday October 21st in Birmingham alongside other union members and reps involved in some of the many disputes that are taking place. We call on our supporters and affiliates to make similar invitations to the CWU to address union meetings, rallies and demonstrations. Solidarity to the CWU!
‘Dispute postponed – not cancelled’ (Oct 12) – Defiant cheers greeted CWU leaders this afternoon as they vowed to fight on despite a legal ruling against us at the Royal Court of Justice. Royal Mail’s legal bid for an injunction preventing the union from striking next week was granted by the judge, Justice Supperstone, in a verdict, which our general secretary Dave Ward said would make members “disappointed and angry.” The company had “acted in bad faith,” said Dave, adding that the injunction granted had set a formal timetable for negotiations and that, unless the company shifted it’s position “significantly and quickly” they would soon have to face “the reality of industrial action.” Deputy general secretary Terry Pullinger accused the business of “trying to stop the democratic rights of our members. “But they haven’t cancelled this dispute, they’ve just postponed the dispute,” Terry added. And in a stern warning to the people at the top of Royal Mail, the DGSP said that unless the renewed negotiations achieved a fair deal, “the industrial action will be back on.” Read more from CWU
National Shop Stewards Network Solidarity Forum – 1pm-4pm Saturday October 21st Birmingham and Midland Institute, 9 Margaret St, Birmingham B3 3BS
Against the backdrop of the momentous strike by the Birmingham Bin Workers the NSSN is pleased to host this forum to bring together shop stewards and trade union activists from across many unions to discuss the lessons and inspiration we can take from the battle and how we can build support and solidarity for the many disputes and struggles developing across the country. From the Bakers Union and RMT to the fight to scrap the public sector pay cap as well as the current dispute of CWU members in Royal Mail.
Speakers from across the public and private sector including Darren Glebocki, CWU Postal executive member; Howard Beckett, Unite assistant general secretary; Richard Beddows, Birmingham Unite bin workers convenor; Paul Reilly, RMT national executive committee (NEC); Jane Nellist, NEU (previously NUT) NEC; John McInally PCS NEC; Rob Williams, NSSN chair. For more info email: [email protected] Facebook event
Consultative pay ballot – the consultative ballot on the pay cap and whether members are prepared to take industrial action to protest against it, opened on October 9th
The ballot runs from Monday, 9 October to Monday, 6 November and you can vote by post, email or phone.
If you have not received a ballot paper in the post or received details of how to vote online to your personal email address by 20 October you should request a replacement ballot paper by emailing [email protected].
The ballot asks two questions:
Do you agree that the pay cap should be scrapped; and that funds should be made available to provide you with an above inflation pay rise?
If the government refuse to scrap the pay cap, are you prepared to take part in industrial action? Read more
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]
Save HMRC jobs in Teesside – PCS has organised a rally in Stockton on October 21 to protest against the closure of the local HMRC office and to demand fair pay for public sector workers. PCS is fighting the proposed closure of the Revenue and Customs office at George Stephenson House in Thornaby-on-Tees, which could lead to the loss of 650 jobs. Two other sites in nearby Middlesbrough are also threatened with closure. Local MPs and the Tees Valley mayor are supporting the PCS campaign to ‘Keep Jobs Local’. HMRC’s programme of office closures can be linked to the government’s wider cuts agenda, and to the cap on civil service pay. The rally in Stockton on Saturday will be a joint demonstration against the office closures and the pay cap. The march will assemble at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday 21 October at Stockton Library, Church Road, Stockton TS18 1TU and the rally will take place at 12 noon on the High Street. Speakers will include PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka and the regional secretaries of UNISON and the NTUC, as well as other local union leaders. Send messages of support to R&[email protected]
Support the Eastern Avenue strike – 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
RMT launches campaign to nationalise Northlink Ferry service (18 Oct) – MARITIME UNION RMT is launching a campaign to nationalise Scotland’s Northern Isles Ferry Services (NIFS). The contract is currently held by corporate giants Serco. The lifeline ferry route services the people, staff and business of Orkney, Shetland and the mainland. In 2016, the fleet of 5 vessels carried over 300,000 passengers and over 60,000 vehicles on three routes read more
RMT declares a dispute over Night Tube Drivers denied career progression (17 Oct) – TUBE UNION RMT confirmed this morning that it has declared a dispute with London Underground over the failure of the company to honour an agreement on career progression into full-time jobs for night tube drivers. RMT has begun preparations for a ballot of members for industrial action read more
RMT Tube cleaners demonstrated outside City Hall this morning to protest against poor pay and conditions as a result of outsourcing (Oct 12) – London Underground has recently consolidated its major cleaning contracts into a single contract, 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. RMT is fighting back against injustice. We want London Underground to follow the example of the London School of Economics by ending outsourcing and bringing cleaning services back in house. We want Mayor Khan, as a Labour Mayor, to implement Labour’s policy for a £10/hour minimum wage on the transport system he runs. We want travel passes, sick pay, and holiday pay for Tube cleaners read more
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. Tel: 020-7529-8843
Mears Manchester workers overwhelmingly back fresh industrial action in pay dispute (18) – Members of Unite employed by Mears in Manchester are set to renew strike action in a longstanding dispute over pay after overwhelmingly voting for fresh strike action, the union announced today (Wednesday 18 October). The 180 plus workers employed in housing maintenance work by Mears and Manchester Working have already taken over 40 days of strike action this year, workers are angry over pay differentials of up to £3,500 for workers doing the same role and attacks on terms and conditions. Unite expects to issue the exact details of the strike action, which is set to be substantial, in the coming days and strikes will begin next month. The dispute is set to run during the period when bad weather increases the requirement for urgent repairs. The workers undertake housing maintenance work on 12,000 properties managed by Northwards Housing Association in north Manchester. The contract was tendered by Manchester council read more
Strike vote warning at Kingsmill bread over below inflation pay (16 Oct) – Over 150 drivers and engineers working at Kingsmill’s West Bromwich depot will be balloted for industrial action unless the bread maker stops dragging its feet and makes a cost of living pay offer, Britain’s largest union, Unite warned today (Monday 16 October). The workers who supply Kingsmill bread to Aldi, Asda, Co-op, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Tesco across the west and east midlands, as well as the north west, have grown increasingly frustrated with the firm since pay talks started in May earlier this year. Warning that its members were at ‘breaking point’, Unite said it was highly likely that members would back industrial action in a strike vote read more
Fujitsu workers fight gagging of reps – IT giant Fujitsu may face more industrial action as members of Unite prepare to hold a ballot for further industrial action in their long-running dispute. Unite members in Fujitsu overwhelmingly rejected the company’s proposals by 92 per cent. Unite says that members saw the proposals as an attack on union organisation, restricting reps’ ability to communicate with staff. The union has also launched an online petition opposing what it calls the victimisation of Unite reps read more
Capita talks break down and staff to strike over pensions (16 Oct) – Unite, the union representing staff at Capita, has announced the breakdown of last minute talks at Acas in the pensions dispute. Staff will now be taking part in nine days of industrial action because Capita is attempting to close the current defined benefit scheme and transfer staff to a defined contribution scheme. Unite met with the employer last week to try to find an acceptable settlement but unfortunately the employer refused to make meaningful changes to the damaging proposals. Staff at Capita have voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action in a ballot, calling on their employer to give them a decent pension. In the industrial action ballot 95 per cent of members voted for strike action, on a turnout of 72 per cent. Unite has now informed Capita that Unite members will be taking nine continuous days of strike action starting on Saturday 28 October 2017 ending on Sunday 5 November. Unite conducted an industrial action ballot following the proposal to close the current defined benefit scheme. In June Capita informed its employees of significant changes to the pension arrangements. Staff in the scheme will suffer a massive cut in their retirement income as a result of the proposals read more
Widespread disruption at Gatwick expected as ‘bucks not burgers’ workers vote for strike action (16 Oct) – Widespread disruption is expected at Gatwick airport later this month after over 200 workers employed on the Norwegian airline baggage handling contract voted overwhelmingly for strike action in a dispute over pay. An initial 24 hour stoppage will take place on Monday 30 October after workers voted overwhelmingly (91 per cent) in favour of taking strike action read more
Arriva North West bus workers to strike over ‘pitiful’ pay (13 Oct) – Over 2,000 bus drivers and engineering staff working for Arriva North West across 11 depots are set to stage a series of one day stoppages starting Thursday 19 October in a dispute over below inflation pay and wage inequality between bus garages. The members of Unite are also set to walkout for 24 hours on Monday 23 and Monday 30 October hitting bus services operating out of Arriva bus depots in: Birkenhead, Bolton, Bootle, Green Lane (Stoneycroft), Macclesfield, Runcorn, St. Helens, Speke, Southport, Winsford and Wythenshawe read more
Support Birmingham binworkers – send messages of support via [email protected] and donations to Unite the Union, 9-17 Victoria St, West Bromwich B70 8HX
First Manchester buses on strike every Monday during October at Bolton and Rusholme depots – A major bus drivers’ strike is set to cause disruption to passengers during EVERY MONDAY of October read more from Manchester Evening News
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 – 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
Tulip Workers vote unanimously for Industrial Action ballot After Pay Row and Health and Safety Cuts – the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) and Leicester Socialist Party attended an emergency branch meeting today for workers from Tulip, a food processing plant in Coalville. The members present voted unanimously to ballot for industrial action due to a series of abuses by their employers. This was after talks between Tulip and the Bakers’ Union (BFAWU) broke down read more from Leicester Socialist Party
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
Exeter hospital porters appeal for support (16 Oct) – Porters taking action over management plans for 12-hour shifts appeal for donations to hardship fund. Hospital porters in Exeter are gearing up for strike action this weekend over management attempts to move them onto 12-hour shifts – and asking for support from colleagues across the union. The porters at the Royal Devon and Exeter foundation trust are among some of the lowest-paid staff in the NHS, but 96% of them voted for industrial action, with a 24-hour strike due to start at 6am on Friday 20 October and an 8-hour follow-up strike from 10pm on Sunday 22 October read more
Join UNISON on SOS Day and fight back against library cuts. Are you ready for this week’s Save Our local Services campaign day, celebrating and defending our library service? – Thursday 19 October is UNISON’s SOS Libraries Day. UNISON members and activists in libraries will be standing up for our public library service, holding events and calling for an end to the seemingly endless assault on our libraries read more
Schools funding is still in crisis – prepare to lobby Parliament on October 24th. Join us for a Lobby Against School Cuts to show MPs that, despite the Department of Education’s welcome rethink, there is still a problem read more
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
Sellafield Firefighters Begin Strike Over Working Pay and Conditions (Oct 17) – Walkout is a response to Sellafield management’s broken promises, says GMB. Members of GMB, the union for nuclear workers, are today taking the first of two planned 12.5 hour strikes this week over a heated dispute over pay and conditions at Sellafield. Firefighters are striking today between 6.00am and 6.30pm, and on Thursday (October 19 between) 6.00amand 6.30pm read more
GMB school support staff at Greenwich Academy strike on 17 October – GMB members at Charlton Park Academy School in Greenwich will be following up on two days of strike action in July with a further day on Tuesday 17th October over new imposed sick pay arrangements which leave members on much worse terms and conditions than any other Greenwich school. The contracts apply to those who have joined the school after it became an Academy. Local MP Matt Pennycook is expected to visit the picket line and he has already shown his support by writing to the headteacher expressing his concern at the impact on staff well-being and welfare. The strikes have followed two days of talks at ACAS earlier in the summer which proved fruitless. The Teachers Union, NEU (previously NUT), are currently balloting for proposed joint dates with GMB in early November read more
GMB warns industrial action at nuclear stations could lead to Christmas power shortages (Oct 12) – GMB Scotland has today (Wednesday 12 October) warned that industrial action at both of Scotland’s nuclear power stations could leave the country without a third of its electricity supply this Christmas, as a dispute over cuts to staff terms and conditions intensifies. The biggest trade union in the UK nuclear industry is set to launch a nationwide consultative ballot after EDF Energy announced it will cut a long-standing agreement covering pay, terms and conditions during statutory outage periods. The ballot will include Scotland’s Hunterston B and Torness stations, which employs a total of 1,500 workers, producing 35 per cent of Scotland’s total electricity generation capable of delivering power to 3.7 million homes. GMB has informed the Scottish Government about the potential implications for supply in the event of industrial action. A UK wide consultative ballot across the EDF nuclear fleet will run from Monday 16 October until Monday 6 November read more
Picturehouse workers went on strike for 8 days of strike action at venues during the BFI London Film Festival – read more from the Guardian
Donate to the strike fund: https://www.crowdpac.co.uk/campaigns/250/picturehousestrike
Pressure grows on University of Leeds as more MPs back striking staff (13 Oct) – Leeds North West MP Alex Sobel is the latest politician to come out in support of striking UCU members at the University of Leeds. He says the university should be working with unions to protect jobs, not wanting new ways to dismiss people read more
National lobby of Parliament October 24th against school funding cuts (supported by NEU/GMB/Unison/ASCL/Unite/NAHT) – on Tuesday 24 October the National Education Union will hold a mass lobby of Parliament to protest against education funding cuts. MPs will be asked to put pressure on the Chancellor to find the funding needed to reverse the cuts and invest in our children and young people, a month before he is set to deliver his budget statement read more
Almost a third of fire safety inspectors cut, report reveals (12 Oct) – Fire services have lost nearly a third of their fire safety inspectors since 2010, a shock report reveals. The Fire Brigades Union (FBU), who compiled the figures from a series of Freedom of Information requests, says the staggering 28% drop in inspector numbers across the UK is a risk to public safety. The union warns that the real figure could be much higher as some fire and rescue services do not know how many inspectors they employed in 2010 read more
United Voices of the World union
Emma Dent Coad MP supports Freddy & Angelica (Oct 12) – Emma Dent Coad MP for the borough of Kensington where HR Owen’s Ferrari and Maserati showrooms are located – has just written to HR Owen in solidarity with UVW members Freddy and Angelica who were recently unlawfully suspended after voting to strike for a living wage, calling on them to “meet the UVW to resolve this dispute and return them to work on the London Living Wage without delay”. Please make a donation to their strike fund if you can – https://www.uvwunion.org.uk/hr-owen/ UVW Facebook page Migrant cleaners from Ecuador who have, for the past 5 years, scrubbed and shined the Ferrari and Maserati’s showrooms in South Kensington – which are run by HR Owen, Britain’s largest luxury car dealership – have just been suspended without pay just days after returning a 100% yes vote for official strike action, authorised by their union UVW, for the London Living Wage.
There could not be a clearer case of trade union victimisation and UVW will immediately initiate legal proceedings against both the cleaning contractor Templewood Cleaning and HR Owen at an employment tribunal and county court.
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)
Watch speeches from last Saturday’s Public Meeting: ‘Who’s Watching Whom? The fight for justice, trade union and democratic rights for all’ in Coventry – including Ricky Tomlinson (Shrewsbury 24), Dave Smith (Author, Blacklisting), Helen Steel (McLibel & Undercover Police Inquiry) and Chris Baugh (PCS Asst. General Secretary). It was sponsored by Unite Tom Mann branch and Coventry TUC – see videos below:-
Donate to ReelNews – http://reelnews.co.uk/donationssubscriptions/
Independent unions challenge the zero rights regime at Coca-Cola Amatil Indonesia read more
Murder of Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia must be investigated read more on NUJ website
21 National Shop Stewards Network Solidarity Forum – 12noon-4pm Saturday October 21st Birmingham and Midland Institute, 9 Margaret St, Birmingham B3 3BS
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
ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE