NSSN 377: Support the strikes & protests in #HeartUnions week


For the 3rd year, the TUC and the unions are using #HeartUnions week to highlight the role that unions can play. Supporters of the NSSN will be taking part in activities around the country, especially on two of the major themes – public sector pay and assisting the BFAWU in organising low-paid workers in McDonalds.  

McStrike logo

But we also appeal to all our supporters and affiliates to use this week to give support and solidarity to those workers currently taking industrial action.

Woolwich Crossrail picket February 7th
Woolwich Crossrail picket February 7th

As usual, the NSSN bulletin contains information about many of the disputes taking place around the country. If there is a picket line in your area, please go along with your union banner. If there’s not, send a message of support and get your union branch or trades council to give a donation.

London, East & South East Region of the TUC #HeartUnions ‘Scrap the public sector pay cap’ protest – 1pm Wednesday 14 Feb outside HM Treasury – 1, Horse Guards Rd, Westminster, London SW1A 2HQ




UCU announces 14 strike dates at 61 universities in pensions row – Strikes will begin on Thursday 22 February. UCU has written to the 61 universities* to inform them of an escalating wave of strikes over a four-week period that will begin with a five-day walkout either side of a weekend. There will then be four days of strikes from Monday 5 – Thursday 8 March and a full five-day walkout the following week (12 – 16 March). The strike dates are:

Week one – Thursday 22 and Friday 23 February (two days)

Week two – Monday 26, Tuesday 27 and Wednesday 28 February (three days)

Week three – Monday 5, Tuesday 6, Wednesday 7 and Thursday 8 March (four days)

Week four – Monday 12, Tuesday 13, Wednesday 14, Thursday 15 and Friday 16 March (five days)

Due to their academic calendar four universities – King’s, Queen Mary, Edinburgh and Stirling – will not take action in week one. They will start their action in week two on Monday 26 February. They will then walk out for two days on Monday 19 and Tuesday 20 March. Last week talks between UCU and the employers’ representative Universities UK (UUK) ended without agreement and UUK’s plans to transform the scheme were forced through by the chair’s casting vote read more

Defend Education: London March for Pensions and Pay (called by London UCU) – 12noon Malet Street, London, WC1E 7 Facebook event

Sally Hunt warns time is running out to stop USS pensions strikes at 61 universities

UCU snip

Disruption to hit 16 colleges as staff overwhelmingly back strikes over pay (12 Feb) – Disruption is set to hit 16 colleges after staff voted overwhelmingly for strike action in an ongoing row over pay. Overall, 92% of staff at affected colleges voted for strike action. The average turnout was 63%. Action is due to begin in the coming weeks, with the majority of colleges planning a two-day walkout. Full details of action at each of the colleges will be confirmed in the coming days. The dispute has arisen following a disappointing pay offer of 1% from the employer representative, the Association of Colleges, in September. UCU said the below-inflation offer failed to address the years of pay suppression which further education staff have endured. Staff at all affected institutions are taking action over pay, but at some colleges the dispute also includes concerns about working conditions including holiday entitlement, workload and observation policies read more


NSSN news

Advanced notice: the 2018 National Shop Stewards Network Annual Conference will be from 11am-4.30pm on Saturday June 30th in Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, Holborn, London. It is open to all trade union and anti-cuts campaigners

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]

You can receive this bulletin via email. Click here to subscribe 

Follow us on twitter via @NSSN_AntiCuts and Facebook




Union News


RMT calls for Government to immediately reinstate Transport for London grant to protect safety and services (12 Feb) – Amid reports that Transport for London is facing a £1 billion funding gap next year, transport union RMT is calling on the Government to immediately reinstate the full revenue grant being cut as part of its austerity measures. The union is warning that the funding crisis could have devastating consequences for safety and services as well as impacting severely on the London and wider UK economy. RMT confirmed today that it would be writing to the Minister for London, Jo Johnson, seeking urgent talks on the crisis read more

Latest phase of industrial action goes ahead from Friday on South Western Railway in Guards’ safety dispute (12 Feb) – RAIL UNION RMT said today that industrial action involving members on South Western Railway goes ahead from Friday 16th February in the dispute over safety, the role of the guard and the rolling out of Driver Only Operation after management at the company not only failed to engage with the union in talks but instead resorted to threatening and intimidating their front line staff read more

RMT Waterloo picket January 8 anti-DOO strike
RMT Waterloo picket January 8 anti-DOO strike

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

Join us: London Tube cleaners day of action (21 Feb) – tubecleaners ABM contract demo outside city hall and ABM offices on Wednesday 21 February at 2pm. At 2pm on Wednesday 21 February, we will be holding demos to protest against the treatment by outsourcing companies (especially new mega contractor ABM) of cleaners on the London transport network. The first demo will take place outside City Hall (Address: The Queen’s Walk, SE1 2AA) with participants then moving on to protest outside the nearby ABM headquarters (Address: George House, 75 – 83 Borough High Street, SE1 1NH) read more

RMT confirms further strike action on DLR in dispute over breakdown in industrial relations – RMT cleaners, security staff and travel safe officers on Docklands Light Railway will be taking part in a further phase of strike action over a comprehensive breakdown in industrial relations…The workers involved in the dispute are employed by contractor ISS on the KAD contract and will take further strike action as follows: Not to book on for any turns of duty that commence between:- 05:30 hours on Thursday 22nd February 2018 and 05:29 hours on Saturday 24th February 2018 read more



Unite preparing for industrial action in Rotherham derecognition dispute (13 Feb) – Unite is preparing to ballot members for industrial action after Fortem, which undertakes maintenance and repair work on Rotherham council’s housing stock, announced it had derecognised the union. The announcement that Fortem, which is a subsidiary of Wilmott Dixon, had without warning de-recognised the union, occurred as the company is preparing to make around 20 of its staff redundant. Fortem has refused to enter into any meaningful consultation with Unite over the redundancies and when challenged by Unite on the matter, replied that the union had been derecognised read more

Workers at Merseyside firm set to ballot over ‘no pay rise for three years’ (13 Feb) – A total of 34 workers at a Merseyside firm, which refurbishes electricity supplies to residential properties, are to be balloted for industrial action in a dispute over the lack of a pay rise since 2015 and also 13 proposed redundancies. Unite said workers at IQA Knowsley would be balloted for strike action and/or industrial action short of a strike from Monday 19 February. The ballot closes on Monday 26 February read more

Unite members secure pay rise to end Gatwick transport chaos fears (12 Feb) – Strike action involving bus drivers who ferry passengers to and from aircraft at Gatwick airport has been averted after the company made a vastly improved pay offer read more

Strike action to be stepped up in Essex concrete company strike (9 Feb) – Workers at Tarmac Building Products Ltd are set to step up strike action in a dispute over the creation of a two tier workforce, their union Unite has warned. The strike action began at the Stanford Le Hope based company which produces concrete breeze blocks, following the company’s plans to introduce a two tier workforce, with new starters receiving lower pay. Yesterday (Thursday 8 February) was the third day of strike action, which was solidly supported, and further strikes are scheduled for 20, 22 February and then 20, 22 March. The first two strikes were on 30 January and 6 February read more

EDF Energy ‘hypocritical’ smart meter vehicle tracking row escalates with seven days of strikes – Strike action by EDF Energy smart meter installers in London is set to escalate in the row over the imposition of tracker devices in vehicles, and also random drug and alcohol testing. Unite, the country’s largest union representing 60 meter installers and fixers in the capital, has announced seven days of strike action, starting on Monday 19 February, which will seriously hamper the installation of EDF’s smart meter programme. The 24 hour strikes, starting at 00.01, will be held on 19, 22 and 27 February, and 1 March, followed by a 72 hour strike commencing on 6 March read more

Unite preparing legal action in Crossrail dispute in response to Balfour Beatty ‘thievery’ (7 Feb) – Unite, the UK’s construction union, is preparing to take legal action in the increasingly bitter Crossrail dispute, after Balfour Beatty ceased paying agreed bonuses. Unite has described Balfour Beatty as acting like ‘guttersnipes and common thieves’. The dispute involves 76 electricians employed by Balfour Beatty on the Woolwich Crossrail station. Workers took their third day of strike action today (February 7) following previous strikes on 10 and 31 January. Further strikes are planned for 14 and 21 February. The strike is a result of Balfour Beatty’s refusal to pay an improved second tier payment and an industry standard four week finishing bonus (payable when workers are made redundant). In response to the entirely legal strike action Balfour Beatty has deducted the workers’ bonus payments from their wages, which are part of their contracted earnings. In response Unite will step up its industrial activity and hold a series of demonstrations at different Crossrail sites to coincide with the next strike on Wednesday 14 February read more – protest 8.30am Wednesday February 14th 8.30am Balfour Beatty – 5 Churchill Pl, Canary Wharf, London E14

Support Ian Allinson: ‘Discrimination’ of union reps sparks 11 days of strike action at Fujitsu in Manchester from January 24 The next strike dates are Thursday 8 – Wednesday 14 February. More than 250 Unite members in Manchester have voted for 11 days of strike action at IT giant Fujitsu in one of the longest running industrial disputes in the UK. One of the features of this dispute has been a ‘victimisation culture’ of union reps, which has included the dismissal of Unite rep of 26 years standing Ian Allinson read more    Keep up to date with Unite: Our union in Fujitsu website – ‘Solidarity with Fujitsu strikers’: Come and protest near the Fujitsu picket on the last day of our seven-day strike. We will be holding a rally at 8am so particularly want people there at that time – Fujitsu, Central Park, Northampton Road, Manchester, M40 5BP Facebook event

Support Manchester Mears housing workerssend messages of support to Unite rep Colin Pitt: [email protected] and Unite regional officer [email protected] and post donations to: Unite House, Merchants Quay, Salford Quays, Salford M50 3SG

Support bus strikes at First Bus Rusholme in Manchester – Send messages of support and donations via Neil Clarke, [email protected] c/o Unite, Jack Jones House, 2 Churchill Way, Liverpool  L3 8EF

Please donate to support Sutton tanker workers at Eastham Refinery in Cheshire who are fighting cuts to pay and conditions, donate to support the strikers. Tanker Drivers employed by Sutton’s Tankers Limited on the Nynas Bitumen contract at Eastham in Cheshire were given proposals by their management on 18th December 2017 Accept redundancy and sign a compromise agreement of face being dismissed on 19th January 2018. As part of the company proposals the drivers were offered a new contract of employment on inferior contracts of employment with pay rates being slashed by between 32% & 40% with other elements of their terms which delivered a mandate of 100% in favour of an all out strike



TMASS Babcock staff to strike for three days over pay (16 Feb) – Staff at Babcock Armour Centre at Wareham in Dorset have already taken one day’s strike action in their dispute over pay. Staff employed on the TMASS contract at the Armour Centre, which is based next to the Bovington Tank Museum in Dorset, train army personnel in tank and armoured vehicle driving, maintenance, gunnery, communications and manage the stores. Members of PCS took one day’s strike action in November for the first time. The strike was well supported with 96% of members attending the picket line, and training was halted for the day read more

PCS condemns DWP issuing two compulsory redundancy notices (12 Feb) – PCS has condemned as shameful the fact that two administrative officer staff at Plymouth Benefit Centre have been notified by the DWP that they are to be made compulsorily redundant as a result of the office closure programme. Bizarrely the office that these two members work in is not actually closing. However, the work that they do is moving to another location that is outside the mobility of the members. We believe that issuing notice of compulsory redundancies to these 2 members is completely unnecessary. DWP needs more AO staff not fewer. These members are trained and experienced Employment and Support Allowance processors, who DWP can ill afford to lose read more

Support DWP strikes:

  • Send messages of support to [email protected]
  • Send donations to the strike fund to PCS DWP Group, 3rd Floor, Town Centre House, Merrion Centre, Leeds, LS2 8LY



Catch up on the latest with the CWU’s campaigns and disputes: Royal Mail Four Pillars, BT Pensions and Close the Gap/Justice for Agency Workers in BT



Local government pay consultation – Members in schools and local authorities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are being consulted on two-year pay offer read more

University of South Wales cleaners win tribunal case (13 Feb) – Private company unlawfully deducted pay from cleaners after agreeing to cover the cost of their travel time to a new site read more

Support the Birmingham Homecare Workers read more on Birmingham Unison website Facebook page



TSSA intervention forces U-turn over ScotRail bonus (8 Feb) – A TSSA intervention has won back a £100 bonus for every member of Abellio ScotRail staff who were promised it it they helped return the company to profit read more



Protest for Sacked Taxi Driver (Feb 8) – GMB protest for Oxford taxi driver sacked allegedly for being trade union member. This protest is in anger at the treatment of a decent, hard-working family man whose only crime appears to be membership of a trade union says GMB read more

Furious Drivers Consider Action Against DHL/UKMail (Feb 8) – furious GMB members consider action against DHL/UKMail over sacked drivers. GMB has written to DHL/UK Mail demanding an urgent meeting to discuss their appalling treatment of drivers. GMB members employed by DHL/UK Mail are furious at the draconian treatment they’ve received at the hands of management – including the sacking of 20 fellow drivers read more



Sign the petition against the Government reducing the Prison Officer Pension



Fighting the Pensions Robbery – Video Update (12 Feb) – The FBU is keeping up the fight for firefighter pensions and has achieved a legal turnaround which General Secretary Matt Wrack describes as ‘a blow to the government’ read more

Sign petition: Stop West Midlands Firefighters being taken away from the frontline! #FiredUp – Recent events such as the fire at Grenfell Tower and terrorist attacks across the country have shown that when you need the fire service, you need them quickly. But now, councillors in the West Midlands want to use flexible contracts to make firefighters undertake non-emergency work such as transporting people from hospital and picking up people who fall in their home. This will involve frontline firefighters and their emergency vehicles. Our message is clear; if firefighters are tied up with non-emergency work then they cannot be there for you and your family in your time of desperate need: This is unacceptable



Support the London strikes against academisation: A number of schools in Newham and Brent have been on strike against threats of academisation, including Avenue Primary, Royal Docks, Cumberland and Village primaries. You can tweet messages of support to @NUTLondonOffice



Picturehouse members prepare for a week of action (9 Feb) – BECTU members leading the campaign for the Living Wage at Picturehouse cinemas are preparing for their first ever week-long strike. This escalation of the action demonstrates the enduring commitment of members to the campaign, despite continued hostility from the company and its refusal to sit down with the union to discuss ways to resolve the dispute. This next period of action will run continuously from 5am Saturday 17 February to 5am Saturday 24 February coinciding with the BAFTA Awards ceremony on Sunday 18 February read more. Read the latest on Brixton Ritzy Facebook Page and those of Hackney, Crouch End, Central, Dulwich East and Duke of York Brighton

Picturehouse Central

Donate to the Picturehouse Cinema strike fund: https://www.crowdpac.co.uk/campaigns/250/picturehousestrike



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




More news

Sign the petition: End all local and national public sector service outsourcing

‘Laffalang’ comedy fundraiser to help in save South Tyneside hospital campaign – The hugely popular Laffalang Gang are to perform a comedy fundraiser for the Save South Tyneside Hospital Campaign. Arguably, the region’s most successful and funniest comedy troupe, after numerous sell-out shows at Newcastle’s top comedy club, The Stand, and with members performing sketches at this year’s sell-out Sunday for Sammy (10,000 attendees), the Laffalang Gang are coming home to perform at the Westovian Theatre on Friday and Saturday, June 15 & 16 at Westovian Theatre (Ocean Road, opposite Haven Point), South Shields, NE33 2JS

Tickets only £13 via The Word, Market Place, South Shields. Call the box office on (0191) 4247788 or book online via www.ticketsource.co.uk/westovians. For more information about Save South Tyneside Hospital Campaign contact Roger Nettleship on E-mail: [email protected] Mobile: 07963506451



Blacklisting & Victimisation

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)

‘Carillion ruined my life by blacklisting me for raising health and safety concerns’ – Dave Smith Joint Secretary of the Blacklist Support Group in the Metro

Blacklisted t-shirts available at: https://shop.hopenothate.org.uk/component/hikashop/product/78-blacklisted-t-shirt

Book: http://newint.org/books/politics/blacklisted-secret-war/

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNcgrNs6pB8

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/groups/blacklistSG/

Blog: www.hazards.org/blacklistblog




Serbia: Sacked Knjaz Miloš water company workers threaten hunger strike read more








13 PCS pay lobby of Parliament

17 National Marches against Racism in London, Glasgow and Cardiff Facebook event



12 TUC demonstration ‘A new deal for working people’ https://www.tuc.org.uk/events/new-deal-working-people-tuc-march-rally



30 National Shop Stewards Network 2018 Annual Conference 11am-4.30pm Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, Holborn, London



PHONE 07952 283 558

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ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE