This week’s NSSN bulletin headlines with two co-ordinated strikes by low-paid workers.
This Thursday October 28th, hundreds of outsourced mainly migrant workers in the United Voices of the World union (UVW), will strike together over five different employers – Royal Parks, University of Greenwich, St Mary’s Hospital, Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and 200 Gray’s Inn Road, the headquarters of ITV and Channel 4. This is part of a series of strikes in these locations. The UVW also have ongoing industrial action ballots at two others: the. UVW is also balloting members at St. George’s University and University of East London. We support the UVW call for outsourced workers to be brought back in-house. Donate to the union’s strike fund to support these low-paid workers
On Tuesday November 12th, members of the BFAWU bakers and food workers union will strike again in McDonalds, this time in six South London restaurants – Wandsworth Town, Downham, Balham, Deptford, Catford and Crayford
United Voices of the World – Hundreds of outsourced cleaners, porters and caterers to strike for equality with NHS staff at major London hospital
Major disruption at three University of London universities bracing for successive weeks of strike action
BFAWU – Largest McStrike launched at 6 South London stores
The BFAWU has organised a conference call today Tuesday 29th October at 7pm with the McDonald’s workers and others such as the TUC and Owen Jones. To take part, click on this link
Support the postal workers after massive strike vote! We support the call of the union for Royal Mail to be re-nationalised read more National Dispute – resources page
Prepare to defend our red line on compulsory redundancies, BT branch reps told (Oct 25) – Branches with members in BT Enterprise are being urged to ‘prepare for the worst while hoping for the best’ amid blunt CWU warnings to BT that it will have a major fight on its hands if even one compulsory redundancy stems from the hundreds of job losses announced by the division last week. Last Wednesday’s jobs bombshell immediately prompted a stern reminder to BT that any move to cross the union’s fundamental red line on compulsory redundancies will trigger the most serious labour relations crisis to hit the company since the 1987 national strike read more
MPs tell Government: ‘Stop attacking our Post Office network’ (Oct 25) – “We disagree with the strategy of closing Crown Post Offices,” was the demand of Westminster’s highest-level Select Committee of MPs, at the conclusion of Official Inquiry into the network today. The top-level probe, which was launched in April following the CWU’s high-profile ‘Save Our Post Office’ campaign, gave a clear recommendation that the Government must urgently reconsider its strategy read more
Support these indefinite industrial actions:-
BROMLEY LIBRARY STRIKERS – FIGHTING ON TO SAVE OUR LIBRARIES
From Unite regional officer Onay Kasab:
Following the announcement of job cuts in Bromley Libraries, it is now vital that we escalate the campaign again. Our members have been on continuous strike since 6th June. I have included again (below) the details for our crowdfunding page.
Over October, we are organising a number of events. The events below have been confirmed. We are asking that RISC members and officers do what you can with your branches to build support and attendance for these events. One part of our strategy will be to target Greenwich Councillors who are on the board of GLL and who to date have said nothing, despite our approaches.
This is a key dispute not just in the Region but for the local government sector of Unite. It is the longest running indefinite all out dispute for some years and demonstrates vividly all the points we have made in our opposition to outsourcing. It is therefore vitally important that we do all we can over the next few months to bring this dispute to a victorious conclusion not just for Bromley Unite members but for our sector.
30 OCTOBER – GREENWICH FULL COUNCIL
Demonstration from 5pm at Woolwich Town Hall, Wellington St SE18 6PW
We are going to fight this campaign until we win. We are making a fresh appeal for funds. Here is a link for our crowd funding site which has just been set up. Please forward this to stewards and members and encourage them to donate. This is a vitally important campaign – and we will win a vitally important victory!
Also, cheques can be made payable to Onay Kasab and forwarded to 33 – 37 Moreland St, London, EC1V 8BB and messages of support via [email protected] bank details are: Unity Trust Bank, Bromley LG Bromley Branch, A/C NO. 20272821 Sort 60 83 01
Sign the petition to defend Bromley Library Service Call and support the indefinite strike. Please send messages of support and any financial assistance via Unite regional officer Onay Kasab [email protected]
Support the Tayside Pharmacy workers ‘fury’ – Come join the striking pharmacy support workers in NHS Tayside at both the PRI and Ninewells pickets for a Halloween picket party on Thursday 31st October 09.00-14.00, hopefully some of the members will be dressed up for the occasion. We hope for a good turn out and show of solidarity from workers/colleagues with NHS Tayside, the general public and members from other trade union Facebook event
Support Tayside Pharmacy Workers Facebook page
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
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]
Follow us on twitter via @NSSN_AntiCuts and Facebook
Watch NSSN TUC Rally video
HE pay and DVSA strike raised in parliament (25 Oct) – Low pay in Highways England and the ongoing PCS dispute with DVSA over attacks on terms and conditions were discussed in parliament this week. During transport questions in the House of Commons yesterday (24) Labour MP Mary Glindon highlighted the huge pay inequalities that exist at Highways England…In the same session Labour MP Alex Norris asked for an update from transport minister George Freeman on the progress of talks over our dispute with the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency management. Striking PCS members working in IT for the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency returned to work last month after a well-supported month of action read more
FCO Interserve staff to continue strike action (23 Oct) – Facilities management workers at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office have overwhelmingly voted for further strike action as part of the mandatory six month re-ballot. On a magnificent 83% turnout, there was a 100% support for more strike action, sending a strong message to Interserve that these members want their demands met. Members’ meetings held in the closing days of the ballot agreed to call for further action on 7, 8, 11 and 12 November read more
Support the DVSA workers who have been on strike – donate to the strike fund online using account number: 20331490, sort code: 608301, quoting the reference DVSA Strike Fund. Send your solidarity messages to [email protected] read more
Support the cleaners in the fight for a Living Wage in HMRC on Merseyside – PCS members employed by ISS to clean HMRC offices on Merseyside have been on strike read more on Justice for HMRC Cleaners and the PCS website
Support the Stockport UC strikers – these workers took action recently. Donate to the PCS Stockport and Tame Valley Branch Hardship Fund: Sort code 60-83-01, account number 20260684. Send messages of support to [email protected] and all will be forwarded on read more
Get a RMT anti-fascist ‘No Pasaran’ t-shirt – All sizes . £10 per T-shirt including postage . Bulk orders are fine . Email to [email protected] or text 07932 576 955. Payment by bank transfer or cash
Tube Cleaners Strike vote gets underway (28 Oct) – TUBE UNION RMT has confirmed that a strike vote involving cleaners the length and breadth of London Underground in a fight for workplace justice has kicked off today. The cleaning staff are employed by private contractors ABM and have been fighting for parity with their LU colleagues on a number of fronts including pensions, sick pay and travel. RMT believes that the ABM cleaning workforce are being discriminated against when compared to their colleagues and that the Mayor should be stepping in to bring an end to the scandal of the two-tier workforce across London Underground that is being allowed to operate on his watch. The strike ballot opens today and will close on Tuesday 19th November read more
Lincolnshire health visitors vote to strike over council’s ‘divide and rule’ jobs move (25 Oct) – More than 70 Lincolnshire health visitors have voted by a large majority to strike in the long running pay dispute over county council plans to ‘divide and rule’ over future job roles. Unite said today (Friday 25 October) that strike dates would be announced soon, after the health visitors had voted by 67 per cent to strike. The dispute has escalated from the first bout of strike action – 32 days of strike action have been taken since July with the loss of around 450 shifts – centred on health visitors having lost more than £2,000 a year since they were transferred from the NHS – to the council’s current insistence on different contracts for grade 9 and grade 10 health visitors. The new strike mandate came from not only the health visitors, who have been denied legitimate pay rises by the council since October 2017, but health visitors on the lower grade 9 and higher grade 1 read more
Greenwich council housing repair workers strike suspended after pay victory (24 Oct) – About 120 housing repair workers at Greenwich council have suspended their strike action after securing a victory in a dispute over a new pay structure, Unite said today (Thursday 24 October). Unite said its members, who were due to hold the first of five days of strike action on Monday (28 October), had now called off the industrial action after a deal was hammered out involving the Unite branch yesterday (Wednesday 23 October). Those affected by this issue are carpenters, electricians and plumbers based at the Birchmere depot, Eastern Way, London SE28 8BF. Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “Following negotiations yesterday, the employers have agreed to amend their proposals in key areas. In summary, the instances where our members’ pay can drop will be minimised. There will be ‘pay protection’ and, most importantly, no imposition of any changes while talks continue. This will include a joint review with the earliest date for any change being March 2020. As a result, the strike action has been suspended. This was negotiated by the Unite Greenwich branch which has done an excellent job, not just to negotiate the agreement and secure a win, but it has also won a commitment to bring even more work back in-house. This should set an example to other Labour councils up and down the country to bring all work back under local authority management. We hope this resolution will herald a new era of better employment relations with the Royal Borough of Greenwich management.”
Derbyshire flooring workers to hold the first of 20 days of strike action tomorrow over pay, after rejecting last minute offer – More than 70 production workers at Forbo Flooring UK Ltd in Ripley, Derbyshire will stage the first of ten 48 hour strikes tomorrow (Tuesday 15 October), after rejecting a new ‘unsatisfactory’ pay offer, Unite said today (Monday 14 October). The workers at the High Holborn Road site rejected a slightly improved two year package backdated to 1 January 2019 and running to 31 December 2020 by a large majority today. Unite said that a culture of staff being undervalued and disrespected hangs over this dispute read more
BREAKING NEWS!! Unison University of Birmingham Branch to strike again week beginning November 18th https://twitter.com/BhamUniUnison/status/1189138782748139522
BREAKING NEWS!! Drug and alcohol workers escalate strike as Addaction boss is appointed Liberal Democrats’ new chief executive (29 Oct) – Drug and alcohol support workers employed by London-based charity Addaction in Wigan and Leigh have intensified their strike action in a dispute over pay. Thirty staff will begin five days of strike action on Monday 4 November in their fourth round of industrial action over what they say are Addaction’s broken pay promises. The staff were previously employed by the NHS but the service, commissioned by Wigan Council, was transferred to the national charity, which has come under fire for its handling of the dispute. Workers continued to receive pay rises in line with those of NHS employees and were given assurances by the organisation’s managers this would continue into the future. But when the 1% pay cap in the NHS was removed from April 2018, Addaction refused to implement the promised wage rise. The decision, which will cost each support worker around £1,000 per year, was taken without any consultation or discussion with staff. Whilst the dispute is rumbling on, Addaction have recently announced that top boss Mike Dixon is leaving the charity this month to become Chief Executive of the Liberal Democrats read more
Compass hospital workers take fair pay protest to company’s Surrey HQ, says UNISON (22 Oct) – Striking staff demand same pay as NHS colleagues. A coachload of striking Compass workers is today (Tuesday) heading 200 miles south to the company’s Chertsey headquarters to urge their employer to pay them the same as their NHS colleagues, says UNISON. The staff – who work for the contractor at NHS trusts in St Helens and Blackpool – are on the penultimate day of their latest strike action. They’re hoping the doorstep protest will persuade company bosses to end the dispute, which began this summer read more
British Steel workers need ‘concrete commitments’ (24 Oct) – GMB, the union for steel workers, says British Steel workers need a concrete commitment’ after the deadline for reaching a deal ends today. The government is ready to open talks with other bidders for British Steel after failing to agree terms with the Ataer Holding, granted exclusivity in August. The company had until today to reach an agreement to buy the business, which includes the works in Scunthorpe read more
‘Don’t sack 12,000 Asda workers just before Christmas’ – GMB, the union for Asda workers, has written to company bosses calling on them not to sack 12,000 workers just before Christmas. In an open letter to senior vice president Hayley Tatum, GMB calls on the company to withdraw its threat to sack all workers who don’t sign the controversial Contract 6 on November 2. Last week Asda workers handed in a 23,000 strong petition opposing the contract to Asda HW during a mass protest in Leeds read more
Support the ASDA workers and reinstate Michael Hunnum – 12,000 workers are facing being sacked before Christmas by scrooge bosses ASDA, who are now owned by US superstore giant Walmart. This threat is hanging over them unless they agree to the new ‘Contract 6’ which will see them lose all their paid breaks and forced to work bank holidays. The same employer is sacking North East GMB member Michael Hunnam. Michael’s fight is part of the same struggle to resist the offensive of the ASDA bosses. Michael’s supporters believe that his determined opposition to Contract 6 is what has put him in the ASDA firing line. Support the ASDA workers and reinstate Michael!
GMB: ‘Don’t sack 12,000 Asda workers just before Christmas’ – sign petition
NIPSA members to strike again this Friday in the civil service – NIPSA members employed by the Department for Communities working in Disability, Carers Service and Supplementary Payments, Personal Independence Payments, Debt Management Operations, Debt Control and Debt Project who are based at College Street and Castle Court will be taking strike action on Friday 1 November 2019 in support of the ongoing Pay, Terms and Conditions Dispute read more
Teachers at St Catherine’s School in Bexleyheath will strike over allegations of ‘bullying by headteacher’ (23 Oct) – The union warns further walk outs could happen ‘until they receive assurances that the bullying will stop and their concerns are fairly addressed’. Teachers at one of Bexley’s best performing secondary schools will walk out on strike next week. A statement released yesterday (October 22) from teacher’s union the National Education Union (NEU) said staff at St Catherine’s Catholic School had “reluctantly voted” to take strike action. It said the walk out follows “repeated arbitrary and bullying behaviour” by headteacher Yvonne Connolly read more
Sixth form industrial ballot results, strike and re-ballot – The strike ballot for sixth form colleges closed on 16 September and five out of six members voted to take action – 84 per cent of members voted Yes to action and Yes to saving the sixth form sector. Overall, there was a 43 per cent turnout and strike action in the 25 colleges that reached the 50 per cent turnout threshold took place on 17 October. The first day of action was 17 October, and will be followed by further strike days on 5 and 20 November and further days of action if necessary. We are re-balloting NEU members in 16 colleges where the turnout was just short of 50 per cent. Please VOTE YES to action in support of our campaign for better pay and working conditions for all employees in sixth form colleges. A successful ballot will allow you and your colleagues to join others in the action on 20 November. If you did not receive a ballot paper, please contact us at [email protected] by Monday 28 October, providing your name, address and college. The ballot closes on 4 November read more
Hands off Peacehaven Community School in east Sussex – National Education Union Press Release: Academisation of schools in East Sussex at all costs – Recent Freedom of Information Requests by the National Education Union (NEU) reveal East Sussex County Council (ESCC) to have spent just over £55,000 of public money pursuing an academisation agenda in the face of fierce community opposition. £8,500 of that money was spent on barrister fees fighting a court case brought by parents who were arguing for a judicial review before Peacehaven Community School (PCS) was permanently transferred to the Swale Academies Trust. In January 2016, the Department for Education approved an application for an Interim Executive Board (IEB) to be put in place at PCS. The IEB replaced the previous local governing body, comprised of parents, staff and members of the community. Instead, members of the IEB were appointed by ESCC and from the outset Swale Academies Trust had representation on the board
Send messages of support to: Phil Clarke 07709696561 [email protected] and Jack Tyler 01444 894500 [email protected] Hands Off Peacehaven Community School Facebook group
Striking staff at Nottingham College announce 14 strike dates for November – Nottingham College will be hit with another 14 strike days from Tuesday 5 November after striking staff announced plans for further action and accused the college of reneging on promises over workloads. UCU members entered their fourth week of strike action on Monday 7 October and will have walked out for a total of 15 days this academic year. The increasingly bitter dispute centres on the college’s plans to impose contracts which would leave some staff more than £1,000 a year worse off, as well as reducing holiday entitlement and removing protections against work overload. Staff at the college have not received a pay rise since 2010. The union says that the college has now backtracked on a commitment to limit teaching hours to 24 hours a week while a new contract is negotiated. UCU says the college’s refusal to negotiate in good faith has left members with no alternative but to announce more strike dates. The second wave of strikes will consist of three and four-day walkouts over a four-week period covering most of November. The full strike dates for the second wave are:
Tuesday 5, Wednesday 6 and Thursday 7 November
Monday 11, Tuesday 12, Wednesday 13 and Thursday 14 November
Monday 18, Wednesday 20 and Friday 22
Monday 25, Tuesday 26, Thursday 28 and Friday 29 November read more
Support sacked Sandwell College lecturer Dave Muritu read more
ULA statutory ballot: EIS-ULA Executive recommends that you Vote YES in this statutory ballot for industrial action – Since 2009, the value of members’ pay has fallen by over 20%! The Employers’ pay offer for 2019/20, a headline uplift of only 1.8%, compounds that real terms drop in the value of your pay. The reality is that Universities are choosing to invest in other areas – such as buildings – rather than in their staff. After nearly a decade of sub-inflationary pay settlements, the only avenue left open to us to secure a significant improvement in lecturers’ and academic related staff pay is through industrial action read more
Bectu response to Picturehouse ruling (22 Oct) – We’re very proud of our long-running Living Staff Living Wage campaign, which has been tirelessly led by members who have inspired lots of new members to join our movement in theatre, film, entertainment and TV. While we are disappointed by the recent Employment Tribunal decision to revoke the reinstatement order for two ex-Picturehouse representatives, we are pleased to have won both the original unfair dismissal claims and compensation for the members involved. BECTU members have now agreed to suspend our Living Staff Living Wage campaign and call off the public boycott to focus on fighting for equal pay at the Ritzy and continuing to challenge the dismissal of other members. We won’t rest until Ritzy and Picturehouse follows suit with other cinema employers we have successfully worked with and treats all its workers fairly read more
Equity supports members after company collapse (18 Oct) – Equity is currently supporting 76 members who have been left unpaid and without pension contributions after working for Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre Limited (SRT). SRT was set up by Lunchbox Theatrical Productions and ran a pop up theatre in the Castle car park in the centre of the city of York in the summer of 2018 read more
Protest! – UCL End Outsourcing: Protest from 3:30pm Tuesday October 29th, meet in Malet Place
Outsourced workers at UCL are fighting for equality. Security officers, cleaners and porters have organised and are determined to fight to end the scourge of outsourcing. UCL is one of the richest universities in the world, yet for years they have exploited their outsourced workers Facebook event
Undercover Policing and the Trade Unions conference: Saturday 16th November 2019 – jointly organized by the Blacklist Support Group
A major trade union conference ‘Undercover Policing and the Trade Unions: The Political and The Personal’ is taking place at the University of Greenwich on Saturday 16th November 2019. The event is jointly organised by the Blacklist Support Group and our sister campaigns Police Spies Out of Lives and the Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance (COPS). The conference is officially supported by UNITE the Union.
Amongst other issues, the conference will cover undercover police infiltration of trade unions, police collusion in blacklisting, the human rights violations against female activists by the British state and ongoing corporate surveillance of union activists. The speakers will include spied on activists, blacklisted union members, lawyers, politicians, investigative journalists and artists. See the attached documents for more information.
Attendance is free but registration is essential. Please raise the issue at your union committee and encourage people to apply for a space online via: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/undercover-policing-and-trade-unions-the-political-and-the-personal-tickets-64167284074
Affiliate to the Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance (COPs) and to send representatives from your trade union branch/organisation to our Trade Union Conference on Saturday November 16th at University of Greenwich, Stephen Lawrence Building, Old Naval College, 30 Park Row, London, SE10 9LS.
Return Address: Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance (COPS), c/o 5 Caledonian Road, London, N1 9DX
‘Solidarity’ – A film about the secretive methods used against UK activists and trade unionists will be shown at the conference. You can also see it around the country:-
25 October Document Film Festival, CCA Glasgow
30 October Phoenix Cinema, Leicester
4 November Art House Crouch End, London
7 November Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle
8 November The Maltings, Berwick Upon Tweed
16 November Undercover Policing and Trade Unions (Conference), Greenwich University.
22,23,28,30 November International Documentary Festival Amsterdam
11 December Curzon, Oxford
More dates to be announced.
Contact [email protected] to book a screening.
Follow the Blacklist Support Group here
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
End repression of Chilean workers – General strike now! Read more
Union President suspended at Cambodia’s giant Naga World Hotel Casino for defending her members’ right to bargain their wages! Read more
16 Undercover Policing and the Trade Unions conference: Saturday 16th November 2019 Eventbrite
PHONE 07952 283 558
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FACEBOOK NSSN GROUP or STOP The CUTS Likes page
ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE