NSSN 424: Birmingham binworkers get ready to strike again

The NSSN sends solidarity to the binworkers who were on strike in 2017 and are being forced to take action again.

NSSN chair Rob Williams supporting bin strike
NSSN chair Rob Williams supporting bin strike

From the Unite website:-

Birmingham bins dispute escalates as council ignores deadline for peace deal (4 Feb)

Unite, the UK and Ireland’s largest union, has announced that over 300 refuse workers employed by Birmingham council will begin two days of strike action a week, starting Tuesday 19 February, in an escalation of the ongoing industrial dispute.

The two days a week of strike action, will be in addition to the overtime ban and the work to rule which the workers have been undertaking since Saturday 29 December 2018.

The dispute concerns the blacklisting of workers who took strike action to save their jobs in 2017. It was subsequently discovered that the council had made secret payments to refuse workers who did not support that strike action.

The dispute is a result of Unite attempting to ensure that all employees doing the same job are treated equally and are not discriminated against because of their choice of union or because they have taken lawful industrial action.

Following detailed negotiations at the conciliation service Acas, Unite had set the council a deadline of the afternoon of Friday 1 February to make an improved offer to the workforce. The deadline was put in place as it has also emerged the council was further blacklisting the workers by refusing their holiday requests.

However, the deadline passed with the council failing to make an improved offer to the workers.

Unite is also aware that the council is in breach of the agreement to settle the 2017 dispute by employing agency crews to try to undermine the ongoing lawful industrial action.

Unite assistant general secretary Howard Beckett said: “The decision to escalate the dispute and begin strike action is a direct result of Birmingham council’s failure to treat our members fairly.

“Rather than settle this dispute and end the discrimination the council has instead chosen to try to utilise anti-trade union laws and is penalising workers who have been taking industrial action by denying them their holiday requests.

“Unite’s members have taken the decision to move to full strike action as a last resort due to the council’s refusal to make a fair offer to resolve this dispute.

“This dispute is entirely of Birmingham council’s making and it is in the council’s hands to come forward with a solution to end the discrimination experienced by Unite members. If they fail to do so then the city’s residents will regrettably experience further disruption to their refuse service in the coming weeks.”




Support the striking Birmingham homecare workers – Please send messages of support and donations to Unison Birmingham branch, 46 The Priory Queensway Birmingham  B4 7LR. Email [email protected]    Facebook group – https://www.facebook.com/birminghamunison/

Unison rep Mandy Buckley speaks at NSSN TUC Rally
Unison rep Mandy Buckley speaks at NSSN TUC Rally




NSSN news

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Union News


BREAKING NEWS!! RMT suspends Northern strike action after major ACAS talks breakthrough ends two years of deadlock

Support RMT Northern and South Western Railway‎ strikes – RMT members on Northern Rail and South Western Railway‎ have been taking strike action over the threat Driver Only Operation. Sign the Parliamentary petition to make it a legal requirement to have a second safety critical person on trains

RMT to hold lobby and public meeting in Chester on Thursday 7th February in defence of Northern train guards (4 Feb) – Rail union RMT will be holding a lobby of Transport for the North in Chester on Thursday 7th February, 10.30 – 12.00 at the Council Chamber, Chester Town Hall, 33 Northgate Street, Chester, CH1 2HQ. The union is also holding a major public meeting in the city later that afternoon where speakers will include: RMT general secretary Mick Cash; Chris Matheson, MP for City of Chester and Laura Smith, MP for Crewe & Nantwich. The public meeting will take place Thursday 7th February, 5.00pm – 7.00pm, St Werburgh’s Catholic Parish Centre 26 Brook Street, Chester, CH1 3DZ 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 read more

RMT calls for broad campaign to halt closure of Glasgow’s Springburn Rail Depot (5 Feb) – RAIL UNION RMT today called for the mobilisation of the broadest possible political and public campaign to halt the proposed closure of the Springburn Rail Depot and the lifting of the threat to nearly 200 jobs and 160 years of train building, maintenance and engineering history on the site. In December last year, Gemini announced its intention to close the depot, threatening nearly 200 highly-skilled jobs read more

RMT to hold protest in Holyhead on Friday 8th February for jobs, pay and trade union rights on Irish Ferries’ WB Yeats (4 Feb) – Maritime union RMT will be holding a protest on Friday 8th February from 06:30 at Holyhead Port, Anglesey LL65 1DR. The protest will be targeting the 08:15 sailing of the Cyprus registered WB Yeats with activists leafleting vehicle and freight passengers as they board the vessel in Holyhead Port. The action will demand seafarer jobs, enforcement of employment law and trade union rights on the €144m WB Yeats which Irish Ferries has just brought into service on this key commercial ferry route read more

RMT suspends next phase of Rail Gourmet strike action (4 Feb) – Rail union RMT confirmed today that the next phase of strike action by Rail Gourmet members at the Edinburgh depot has been suspended following progress in talks over the core issues of workplace bullying and justice secured after a sustained campaign of action and pressure by RMT members read more



ASLEF and Police appeal for information after attack on driver (4 Feb) – Mick Whelan, general secretary of ASLEF, the train drivers’ union, has asked witnesses to come forward after a Tube driver was assaulted on the Jubilee line. ‘This was a vicious attack on one of our members who was doing his job as a train operator on London Underground, providing a public service and helping passengers get around the capital. This man needs to be brought to justice and I would ask anyone with any information to contact the police as soon as possible.’ British Transport Police has released pictures and CCTV footage after the Tube driver was attacked with a bottle on board a Jubilee line train at Kilburn station read more


More Unite

BREAKING NEWS!! Workers at East Anglia print firm to strike for fourth time over two year pay freeze offer (6 Feb) – Print workers at Suffolk firm, CPI William Clowes, who have been given just two pay rises in the last 14 years, will take a fourth day of strike action on Wednesday 13 February. Unite, Britain’s and Ireland’s largest union,  pledged that there would be further strike action in the run-up to Easter, if the management did not enter into constructive talks on pay. The workers at the Beccles company will walk-out for 24 hours on 13 February in their dispute over the company’s current offer of a two year pay freeze from April 2018 read more

BREAKING NEWS!! Woolwich Ferry staff in Groundhog Day safety dispute, says Unite (6 Feb) – Workers, who operate the Woolwich Ferry used by an estimated 2.6 million passengers a year, are to hold a ballot for strike action in a dispute over pay, health & safety, and lack of staffing. The 31 workers, members of Britain and Ireland’s largest union, who are employed by Briggs Marine Contractors Ltd, will be balloted for strike action from 14 February. The ballot closes on 6 March. The key issues in the dispute are the refusal to grant a six per cent pay increase for the year starting January 2019; the imposition of new duties; failure to deal with safety concerns; and lack of an adequate number of staff to operate the service. Two years ago, there was an acrimonious and long-running dispute at the ferry with the same employer, which runs the service on behalf of Transport for London (TfL), over a bullying culture, and health & safety issues. Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “The travelling public, who use the ferry, may well think Groundhog Day has arrived with yet another dispute with the management at Briggs Marine Contractors Ltd. “The ballot starts on 14 February, Valentine’s Day, but I can assure you that our members have little love for the management which appears not to have learnt the lessons from the dispute two years ago read more

Step towards industrial action at Angus council (4 Feb) – Unite the union has today (4 February) confirmed that members at Angus council have moved a step closer to industrial action. The announcement follows a consultative ballot where Unite members voted by 98 per cent in favour of holding a legal ballot. The move is in response to Angus Council imposing changes to the terms and conditions of 140 staff who work in Environmental Services. From April 2019, household waste will be collected from 06:00 until 22:00 which will mean that workers will be required to move to a day shift/back shift work pattern.  Unite members have raised concerns about the dangers of operating the service safely and effectively, and the negative impact that these changes will have on work-life balance read more

Suffolk poultry catchers win battle as plan for Christmas day working rescinded (1 Feb) – Specialist poultry catchers in Suffolk have notched up a significant victory after a plan to make them work on Christmas day, Boxing day and new year’s day has been rescinded. Unite said that it now wanted to continue the constructive dialogue with the employer, Hook 2 Sisters at Eye, Suffolk, to iron out a number of outstanding issues affecting the seven poultry catchers read more

Strike still on the cards for 3,500 Yorkshire bus workers at First Group over ‘bullying culture’ (1 Feb) – Unite is proceeding with its preparations for an industrial action ballot of 3,500 Yorkshire bus workers over ‘the bullying culture’ at two First Group companies. Unite is preparing the paperwork for the ballots, with the option for strike action, at First West Yorkshire & North Yorkshire, and First South Yorkshire in protest at the anti-union stance created over many years. The union is awaiting the outcome of the internal appeals against the dismissal of two Unite senior reps at First West Yorkshire & North Yorkshire which were held this week. Unite said that the management was going to carry out more investigations on the future of the two stewards and announce its decision next Thursday (7 February). Unite has demanded their immediate reinstatement read more



Isle of Man Post Office strike – Further to LTB 701/18, I can advise Branches that CWU Members in the Isle of Man will be taking a further three days of Industrial Action commencing at 05:30hrs Thursday 14th February and concluding at 18:00hrs Saturday 16th February. Colleagues will be aware that negotiations continued with the IOM Post Office until Thursday 13th December 2018 with further exchanges of correspondence taking place within the intervening period. I reported to the Union’s Postal Executive on Wednesday 30th January 2019 that over the Christmas break the CWU submitted a detailed response to the IOM’s proposal to effectively close the current DB Scheme to new members, introduce two-tier workforce and reduce the current USO from six to five days. The aim of this submission is to hopefully raise the bar and develop a genuine vision of the IOM Post Office along with repositioning the talks so an agreement can be achieved for IOM members that would reduce any long-term attacks on our members’ employment, standard of living and pension security. To date, the IOM Post Office has shown no desire to move away in any meaningful sense from what is effectively a race to the bottom mentality that seems endemic throughout the current IOM Post Office administration. In order for colleagues to have a better understanding of the attack taking place on our members in the Isle of Man, attached to this LTB is a copy of a notice that was featured in local newspapers during the Christmas period which has been successful in keeping the dispute in the public’s eye. I know that Branches will once again be keen to show their support for our colleagues in the IOM via messages in social media etc. Financial assistance would of course also be welcome and we are aware that some Branches have already sent donations to CWU Headquarters. Branches wishing to make donations to the strike fund should send cheques to the SDGS Department at CWU Headquarters made payable to the CWU General Fund along with any supporting correspondence clearly stating that it is for the IOM strike fund. I can confirm that following the Union issuing the three day Industrial Action notice, further meetings will now be taking place with the IOM Post Office week commencing Monday 4th February 2019. Branches will be advised of developments in due course. I would like to express my appreciation as well as that of the Postal Executive, CWU Officers of the IOM Branch and members for the messages of support and solidarity received. Any enquiries in relation to the content of this LTB should be addressed to the DGS(P) Department and further updates will be issued in due course.

Yours sincerely, Terry Pullinger Deputy General Secretary (Postal)

Bangor delivery office have VOTED YES to take industrial action in a dispute with the employer – this is a very strong message to the employer to listen to this union and overturn the trumped up charge and penalties given to our two members Jim Magowan & Craig Stewart. Dates for industrial action will be announced read more



BREAKING NEWS!! PCS to launch industrial action ballot in March (6 Feb) – The national executive committee has unanimously decided to hold a ballot of over 120,000 members working in government departments for strike action over pay. The ballot will open on 18 March and close on 29 April. The union is demanding a fully funded pay rise significantly above the rate of inflation and national pay bargaining across the civil service and related areas. PCS will ballot over 120,000 members working in key government departments for strike action over pay, it was revealed today. Workers from the UK civil service will be balloted for strike action as well as disruptive action short of a strike, which would take place in May. If the strike goes ahead, it will be the biggest walkout by the civil service since the coordinated pensions’ strike of 2011 read more

PCS slams government U-turn on public sector pensions’ commitment (1 Feb) – PCS has expressed anger and concern over the government’s announcement to pause part of the valuations process for public service pensions. The decision by the government this week to suspend the public sector pension valuation process was branded an “outrageous delaying tactic” by PCS. The valuation process is about the government redressing previous overcharging by giving improved pension benefits to members in the scheme. Ministers claim they are suspending the valuation due to their appeal to the Supreme Court following a Court of Appeal judgement on the firefighters’ pension scheme last year. The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) successfully argued that the protection imposed on younger members was unlawful on age discrimination grounds read more

Further PCS walkouts to take place at Historic Royal Palaces over pensions – Further walkouts by PCS members, starting on 6 February, are to take place at 3 famous sites managed by the charity Historic Royal Palaces which has chosen to attack staff pensions…whose roles include heads of departments, Yeoman Warders, admissions, security, retail, IT and conservation at the Tower of London, Kensington Palace and Hampton Court Palace, are set to walk out for 4 hours at all sites on 6, 16 and 21 February between 11am and 3pm on each day read more


PCS & United Voices of the World

At 15:30 on Wednesday 13 February BEIS outsourced workers will walkout on strike in their second day of strike action fighting for the London Living Wage and an end to the scandal of outsourcing.

Come and join us on the picket lines. Details are:

Wednesday 13 February, 15:30 – 19:00: We will be outside BEIS (1 Victoria Street, London, SW1H 0ET) saying “Let them eat cake, huh, Greg Clark?!”

We will be handing out strike themed cakes in return for donations to the strikers fund. There will be singing and dancing and guest speakers.

Thursday 14 February, 08:00am – 10:00am: We again will have picket lines outside BEIS and we will be saying “Where is the love for your support staff Greg Clark?”. Love songs will rain supreme on the picket lines so come and join us, members of the Labour front bench, trade unionists and activists as we croon out a broken hearted love ballad.

Our picket lines will be part of the TUC’s ❤️ Unions programme of events Facebook event

Protest Justice Secretary David Gauke’s drinks reception (hosted by UVW) – 6.30pm Tuesday 12th February 71 Pall Mall, London, SW1Y 5HD  Facebook event

Please donate to the PCS and UVW strike funds



Hermes and GMB in groundbreaking gig economy deal (4 Feb) – Hermes’ self-employed couriers now have the option to take holiday pay and have guaranteed earnings following a groundbreaking deal between the leading consumer delivery company and GMB Union. The collective bargaining agreement is the first ever recognition deal of its type, and is designed to support the rights of self-employed people providing courier services to Hermes read more   Gig economy take note



Firefighters demand greater protection from exposure to carcinogens, mutagens and reprotoxics (4 Feb) – Several studies show that public authorities and employers are falling short on their responsibility to sufficiently protect firefighters from the risk of exposure to carcinogens, mutagens and reprotoxics (CMRs). This means that firefighters are doubly at risk – not only from the nature of their profession itself but also from the consequences of it read more



Please sign USDAW’s Time for Better Pay petition on the government’s petition website. This is part of the USDAW’s campaign to force the issues of low pay and job security onto the agenda of parliament and our employers – https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/234531



Strike ballot at 143 universities – Around 70,000 UCU members in 143 UK universities are being balloted for strike action in a row over pay and conditions. The ballot opens on Tuesday 15 January and closes on Friday 22 February. The dispute rests on universities’ failure to improve on the 2% pay offer made at pay talks last May. UCU said that offer from the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) did nothing to address the falling value of higher education pay, which has declined in real terms by 21% since 2009 read more



Strike against academisation at Galliard School in North London on Thursday February 10th. Picket Galliard Rd, Edmonton, London N9 7PE. Public meeting same evening 6pm Green Towers Community Centre, 7 Plevna Rd, Edmonton N9 OBU



ULA Statutory Ballot now Open! Ballot Closes: Tuesday 5 March – Voting YES for industrial action is the only avenue left for us to pursue an acceptable cost of living pay rise. Not voting or voting “no” would mean we would have to accept the Employer’s offer which will further erode the real terms value of our pay. Members should have started receiving their ballot papers. If you have not received your paper please contact the EIS Membership Department at [email protected] or phone 0131 225 6244 as a matter of urgency read more

Consultative Ballot on Teacher Pay – Ballot Opens: Thursday 31st January 2019, Ballot Closes: Thursday 21st February 2019. This will be an electronic ballot with members for whom we don’t hold email addresses being notified by letter. It is the recommendation of EIS Council that members vote to reject this offer read more


INMO (Ireland)

INMO escalates nurses and midwives’ strike print (2 Feb) – The INMO has announced an escalation and additional dates for the nurses and midwives’ strike, in the face of the government’s refusal to meaningfully engage with the union. Week 2 of the strike (Feb 5th and 7th) will see the number of services on strike increase from 82 to 240. The Executive Council have also announced extra strike days on the 19th and 21st of February, in addition to the already-announced strikes on the 5th, 7th, 12th, 13th and 14th. The INMO will also be organising a national rally on Saturday 9th of February.  The first nurses’ strike day in twenty years took place on the 30th of January – only the second time in the INNO’s 100-year history that it has gone on strike nationally. Nurses and midwives are seeking to secure safe staffing levels in the health service, through increases in pay to make the professions more attractive read more

INMO strike twibbon


Mandate (Ireland)

Mandate to explain how workers can obtain secure hour contracts under new legislation (4 Feb) – Mandate Trade Union will host a public information meeting to explain how new legislation [Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2018] addressing zero hour and low hour contracts will operate. The meeting will take place in the Royal Marine Hotel, Marine Road, Dun Laoghaire on Wednesday, 6th February at 7pm read more



Members vote for industrial action at the Independent News and Media PLC in Northern Ireland (1 Feb) – The NUJ balloted members at the Independent News and Media PLC in Northern Ireland and the ballot included NUJ members working at the Belfast Telegraph and Sunday Life…NUJ members have voted in favour of industrial action and action short of a strike. Following the result, the union is still willing to engage with the company to find a solution. The outstanding issues are the pay claim, minimum rates of pay, and acting up allowances read more



Read the latest about the Picturehouse dispute on Brixton Ritzy Facebook Page and those of Hackney, Crouch End, Central, Dulwich East and Duke of York Brighton

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



Deliveroo riders in strike action in London and other cities against low pay read more

Biggest-ever minicab protest as thousands of drivers are expected to block three London roads (29 Jan) – Thousands of minicab drivers will gather outside Transport for London’s (TfL) headquarters on Blackfriars Road today, in what will be the biggest-ever demonstration of minicab drivers in the UK. The protest called by the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain’s (IWGB) United Private Hire Drivers (UPHD) branch against regressive congestion charges on minicabs to be introduced in April, builds on two previous demonstrations that were attended by hundreds of drivers read more

Clean up Outsourcing – National Demo Against Outsourcing: 8am London Tuesday February 26

For the first time in UK history, a coalition of unions are coming together in a day of action against outsourcing. Outsourcing is one of the underhanded methods used by  bosses for decades to drive down our employment conditions. By using middlemen in the form of outsourcing companies, employers are able to offer some workers far worse pay, holiday entitlements, sick pay and pension contributions read more in Facebook event



The IWW stands in solidarity with Deliveroo strikers under attack (2 Feb) – The IWW Couriers Network condemns yesterday’s attack on striking couriers who were protesting against Deliveroo’s poverty pay. Video footage of the incident shows that a van twice rammed into two different moped couriers, damaging the vehicles they depend on to make a living. The first time, the couriers spoke with the driver, explaining that they were taking strike action. The second time that the van rammed a moped driver, the couriers responded in self-defence. When the van driver and his friend retaliated by arming themselves with hammers, the drivers in fact de-escalated the conflict and disarmed the driver without causing him further harm read more




Other news

Sentencing Solidarity Demo for #Stansted15 – 8.30am Chelmsford Crown Court, New Street, CM1 1EL Facebook event

BREAKING: The date for the sentencing hearing has now been set to WEDNESDAY 6th FEBRUARY. JOIN US at 8:30am outside the court to demonstrate our continued solidarity with the #Stansted15 defendants, and to demand an end to the Government’s brutal policy of deportation charter flights, inhumane detention centres, and the Hostile Environment.


>> Subsidised London coach leaving at 06:45 from Liverpool St Stn. BOOK your place ASAP! https://www.outsavvy.com/event/2339/stansted15demo-feb6th-londoncoach

Solidarity with the People of Turkey (SPOT) 2019 annual conference ‘Turkey: Fighting for democracy under authoritarian rule’ – Saturday, 9 February 2019 from 11:00-17:00 at National Education Union, Mabledon Place, Hamilton House, WC1H 9BD London Facebook event




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)

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





US: LA teachers defeat privatizers! Read more







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