Finally, the general election has been called – for December 12th. As our supporters know, we have been campaigning for the TUC and the unions to mobilise for this – in order to get rid of the Tories. It was the main theme of both our annual conference in July and TUC Rally in September.
As with the one two years ago, there is a clear choice in this election. The NSSN is an organisation of rank and file trade unionists. We aren’t affiliated to any political party but Jeremy Corbyn’s pro-workers policies that include the following would be a big step forward for workers and their families:-
- repealing the Trade Union Act,
- establishing national sectoral collective bargaining
- a £10 minimum wage with no age exemptions
- nationalising Royal Mail, the railways and energy
- abolishing tuition fees and Universal Credit
We will be producing material throughout the election campaign to make the case to get rid of the Tories.
There are a whole number of strikes taking place during the general election period:-
BREAKING NEWS!! UCU announces eight days of strikes starting this month at 60 universities (5 Nov) – Sixty UK universities* will be hit with eight days of strike action from Monday 25 November to Wednesday 4 December, UCU announced today. Last week UCU members backed strike action in two separate legal disputes, one on pensions and one on pay and working conditions. Overall, 79% of UCU members who voted backed strike action in the ballot over changes to pensions. In the ballot on pay, equality, casualisation and workloads, 74% of members polled backed strike action. The union said universities had to respond positively and quickly if they wanted to avoid disruption this year. The disputes centre on changes to the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) and universities’ failure to make improvements on pay, equality, casualisation and workloads. The overall turnout in the USS ballot was 53% and on pay and conditions it was 49%. The union disaggregated the ballots so branches who secured a 50% turnout can take action in this first wave. The union’s higher education committee has now set out the timetable for the action. As well as eight strike days from 25 November to Wednesday 4 December, union members will begin ‘action short of a strike’. This involves things like working strictly to contract, not covering for absent colleagues and refusing to reschedule lectures lost to strike action. UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: ‘The first wave of strikes will hit universities later this month unless the employers start talking to us seriously about how they are going to deal with rising pension costs and declining pay and conditions…” read more
UCU members working in UK universities have backed strike action in ballots over both pensions and pay and working conditions (31 Oct) – Overall, 79% of UCU members who voted backed strike action in the ballot over changes to the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS). In the ballot on pay, casualisation, equality and workloads, 74% of members polled backed strike action. UCU said the overwhelming mandate for strikes was a serious indictment on the state of higher education and that if universities failed to respond to the sector’s problems then strike action, affecting around a million students, would be inevitable. The union’s higher education committee will meet tomorrow (Friday) to consider the results and next steps in its campaigns to defend pensions, pay and working conditions. Last year, university campuses were brought to a standstill by unprecedented levels of strike action. UCU said that it was frustrated that members had to be balloted again, but that universities’ refusal to deal with their concerns had left them with no choice read more
Support the November 12th South London McDonald’s strikes – 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
It is part of an international day of action for fast food workers’ rights. The McDonald’s workers are calling for a New Deal for McDonald’s workers that would include: £15 an hour, an end to youth rates, the choice of guaranteed hours of upto 40 hours a week; notice of shifts 4 weeks in advance, recognition of the Bakers Food and Allied Workers’ Union, and to be treated with respect and dignity at work read more
The BFAWU is asking for support across the labour and trade union movement. It would be great if you could get to one of the picket lines or if your trades council, union branch or organisation could do a solidarity stall – register with the TUC here
Join CWU Supporters now – The fight against exploitative employers, dodgy contracts and insecure work requires the support of every single community across the country.
Our recent vote for strike action in Royal Mail Group was secured by connecting with our membership in every corner of the UK – both online and on the ground.
Now we need your help to take our message to the public. By joining CWU Supporters you will be contacted with campaign materials and resources that will help us win this battle – and the others we are fighting
Be one of the first to join us by signing up below. Once you have joined us, don’t forget to hit share so that you can alert your social media networks to our new network – click here to join
CWU challenging EE over job losses (Nov 1) – Negotiations with EE have continued over the shock proposal by the company to cut 80 jobs in the Enterprise division, with posts under threat in Doxford and North Tyneside. CWU National Officer Nigel Cotgrove explained “First and foremost we are challenging the rational for this announcement. Both Doxford and North Tyneside provide skilled and valuable support to customers and colleagues. The company has yet to explain how these job losses can be justified 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.
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 – Week 12 and potentially our last of industrial action without having the legal protection needed. Unite have asked NHS Tayside to extend the immunity period beyond the 12 weeks to protect members and allow this process to be completed. We await a response from NHS Tayside and the Scottish terms and conditions Committee, post holders will be forced to return to work on Monday 11th November if the extension ain’t granted by NHS Tayside and STAC fail to complete the process and evaluated post. Staff will need to undertake the duties they have been in dispute about, working to a generic job description that has no value or grade. A generic job description has been the agreed way as a collective since 2007 and has been signed off by management. STAC have concerns that not all post holders will be undertaking certain aspects of the job description, like the pharmacy technicians/Pharmacist and many other posts within the NHS there will be generic or rotational job descriptions where staff won’t carry out all aspects of the job. This is not a failure of the Postholders so why should they be punished for relevant training not been provided or only been asked to undertake certain tasks. This must be rectified ASAP, let’s extend the immunity period to prevent a re-ballot, grade the generic job description as a post, award the banding upgrade and get us back to work
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
HMRC’S Ealing members in further strike ballot (1 Nov) – Following HMRC’s decision to renege on an agreed ‘flexible working’ pilot, leaving nearly all members in Ealing facing the threat of redundancy, PCS is again balloting all members based at International House for industrial action read more
FCO Interserve staff to continue strike action – 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
BREAKING NEWS!! RMT announces 27 days of strike action on SWR (5 Nov) – Rail union RMT has confirmed that a total of 27 days of strike action will take place in December on South Western Railway after the company dangled a potential breakthrough deal in front of the union and then failed to honour it, offering no reasons for the delay. The company’s unremitting failure to give assurances that their new operational model won’t move to Driver Controlled Operation – with the role of the guard butchered completely – means the union has been left with no alternative but to call further industrial action. As a result of SWR’s failure to move forwards on an agreement RMT members will take action as follows: We instruct our Guard, Commercial Guards and Driver members to take the following strike action:-
- Not to book on for duty from 00:01 on Monday 2nd December 2019 until 23:59 on Wednesday 11th December
- Not to book on for duty from 00:01 on Friday 13th December until 23:59 on Tuesday 24th December 2019
- Not to book on duty from 00:01 on Friday 27th December 2019 until 23:59 on the 1st January 2020 read more
Justice for Mitie Merseyrail Cleaners demonstration (5 Nov) – RAIL UNION RMT will be holding a demonstration in Liverpool this Thursday as part of its campaign for Justice for Mitie Merseyrail Cleaners which calls for a real living wage for this crucial group of transport workers. The protest will take place on Thursday 7th November at 16.45 – 18.00 outside Merseyrail, Rail House, Lord Nelson Street, Liverpool L1 1JF. RMT activists and supporters will make the case against poverty pay for a group of crucial staff who do some of the dirtiest jobs on our railways read more
RMT calls strike action on West Midlands Trains over DOO (1 Nov) – Rail union RMT today confirmed that it has called strike action on West Midlands Trains over plans by the company to bulldoze through Driver Only Operation and rip apart the safety critical role of the guard at the platform/train interface. West Midlands Trains Senior Conductor, Senior Conductor Instructor and Train Driver members are instructed to not to book on for any shifts between:
- 00.01 hours until 23.59 hours on Saturday 16th November
- 00.01 hours until 23.59 hours on Saturday 23rd November
- 00.01 hours until 23.59 hours on Saturday 30th November
- 00.01 hours until 23.59 hours on Saturday 7th December
- 00.01 hours until 23.59 hours on Saturday 14th December
- 00.01 hours until 23.59 hours on Saturday 21st December
- 00.01 hours until 23.59 hours on Saturday 28th December read more
RMT calls strike on Virgin West Coast over sacked and victimised member (1 Nov) – RAIL UNION RMT confirmed today that it has called a 24 hour strike on Virgin West Coast over the shocking treatment and dismissal of a colleague that the union says is a straightforward and vicious case of victimisation. RMT has congratulated members for their solid and united support for their colleague who has been so disgracefully treated by Virgin West Coast. An overtime and rest day ban over the last few weeks has been rock solid in spite of various efforts to mislead, intimidate and harass members in clear underhand tactics to undermine it…The unions National Executive Committee has considered this matter again and, having taken on board the views of local representatives, has decided to suspend the current overtime and rest day ban and call strike action as below: –
- All Train Manager members are instructed not to book on for any duties that commence between 00.01 hours and 23.59 hours on Tuesday 19th November 2019 read more
Staff at Frimley NHS to strike for two days over hived-off ‘tax avoiding’ company, says Unite (Nov 5) – NHS staff at Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust will strike for two days later this month as they face being transferred to a wholly owned subsidiary (WOS) designed to avoid paying tax, Unite today (Tuesday 5 November). Unite’s estates’ management, equipment maintenance, catering, portering, procurement and security staff, numbering about 90, will strike on 18 November from 07.00 until 07.00 on 19 November. This will be followed by a second strike from 07.00 on 19 November to 07.00 on 20 November. Unite will be coordinating the strike action with Unison and the GMB union – altogether about 1,000 staff at Frimley Park Hospital, Camberley; Wexham Park Hospital, Slough; and Heatherwood Hospital, Ascot are affected by the trust’s plans. Unite members voted by 92 per cent to strike
ABP Lurgan strike: 240 workers stand firm against low pay and anti-family hours (Nov 4) – 240 Unite members at ABP Lurgan, spanning six different nationalities, have been on the picket line since 6 am this morning (Monday) in a dispute centred on the company’s decision to offer a below-inflation pay increase while also seeking to unilaterally impose earlier shift start times which will make childcare arrangements even more difficult for the low-paid workforce read more
Council workers to protest about low pay prior to pay talks (4 Nov) – Members of local government unions Unite, GMB and Unison, employed in councils, will be lobbying local government employers tomorrow (November 5) prior to crunch pay talks. The unions have tabled a pay claim calling for a 10 per cent increase for all staff and for a minimum rate of £10 per hour. They are also calling for a two hour reduction in the working week (with no loss of pay), one extra day of annual leave and the ending of the freeze on allowances read more
Lincolnshire health visitors to strike for a month over council’s ‘divide and rule’ jobs move (4 Nov) – More than 70 Lincolnshire health visitors will strike for a month from Monday 18 November in the deepening row as county council plans to ‘divide and rule’ over future job roles, which could see some health visitors lose tens of thousands of pounds over their working lives. Unite said today (Monday 4 November) that the health visitors will start their strike at 00:01 on 18 November 2019, ending at 23:59 on Friday 13 December over plans that could see some of them lose £150,000 over the duration of their careers. The latest strike follows the first bout of strike action – 32 days since July with the loss of around 450 shifts over health visitors having lost more than £2,000 a year since they were transferred from the NHS – and centres on the council’s current insistence on different contracts for grade 9 and grade 10 health visitors. Those striking are not just the health visitors, who have been denied legitimate pay rises by the council since being transferred in October 2017, but health visitors on the lower grade 9 and higher grade 10 read more
Unite requests Londoners respect minute’s silence following Orpington bus crash (1 Nov) – Unite, the UK and Ireland’s largest union, is asking Londoners to respect a minute’s silence which will be held across the London bus network, following the Orpington bus crash which occurred yesterday (Thursday 31 October) leaving one person dead and 15 others injured. The deceased was bus driver Kenneth Matcham a member of Unite, the other bus driver is understood to have sustained serious but non-life-threatening injuries. The minute’s silence will be held on Monday 4 November at 11:00 across the London bus network. Wherever, possible Unite is seeking to ensure that buses are stationary at this time, so that drivers can properly observe the minute’s silence. Unite regional officer with responsibility for London buses, John Murphy said: “This was a dreadful tragedy and our thoughts are with Mr Matcham’s family at this terrible time read more A Crowdfunding appeal has been opened for Kenneth’s family
£1 million cuts plan: Peabody workers announce strike ballot (31 Oct) – Peabody housing plan £1 million cuts to housing management budgets by March 2020 with potentially devastating consequences to residents and workers. Unite members have voted overwhelmingly to start a formal strike ballot read more
Living Wage – Why Not Us? – hosted by Hotel Workers Branch – Monday, 11 November from 5pm. On the day the London Living Wage increases – join our hospitality workers is asking why low pay persists in hotels and restaurant and sign up to the fight for a real Living Wage! Facebook event
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
Bradford library and museum strike ‘solid’, says Unite – A strike by library and museum staff in Bradford over ‘swingeing’ cuts was ‘solid’ leading to the closure of the libraries and disruption to the service, the UK and Ireland’s largest union, Unite, said today (Monday 21 October). Today’s stoppage, involving over 50 Unite members, is the first day in a two day strike. It will then be followed by a three day strike on 5, 6, and 7 November. There will then be a four day strike between 18 and 21 November inclusively and a five day stoppage on 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 December. There were demonstrations this morning outside Bradford’s City Library and Shipley Library where the public showed their support for the striking workers. A further two demonstrations are planned for tomorrow at Keighley Library, 1 Albert Square, Keighley, BD21 2AT from 08:30 and Cliffe Castle Museum, Keighley, BD20 6LQ from 11:30. Unite has charted a decade of cuts to libraries and museums by the City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council – the latest £950,000 for the year starting April 2019 and a further £1,050,000 earmarked from April 2020 read more
BREAKING NEWS!! Salford hospital security guards call off strike after eleventh hour pay deal (5 Nov) – Staff employed by private contractor Engie Services Ltd within Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust have called off their planned 72 hour strike, which was set to begin tomorrow (Wednesday). The security workers voted unanimously to strike over their employer’s failure to pay NHS rates. However, in a huge victory for UNISON Engie has offered to move all Salford security staff onto NHS (Agenda for Change) pay and conditions. The security guards work for the multinational outsourcing company at Salford Royal. Before this deal, some have been paid only the minimum wage rate of £8.21 an hour. The lowest rate for staff employed directly by the NHS is £9.03 an hour and the difference of 82p is worth £1,500 a year for full-time staff. Even the security guards paid more than the minimum wage have been earning considerably less than NHS wage rates and have had worse working conditions than other staff they work alongside within the trust. UNISON North West regional organiser Amy Barringer said: “This pay deal is testament to the unity and determination of the security staff at the Royal who stuck together and demanded fair treatment…” read more
NHS workers to strike at three hospitals over privatisation plans (4 Nov) – Facilities staff at Wexham Park and Heatherwood hospitals in Berkshire, and at Frimley Park in Surrey have announced dates for strike action, in an escalation of their campaign to stay in the NHS. Their employer Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust (FHFT) plans to privatise up to 1,000 NHS cleaners, caterers, porters, security and estates staff to a new wholly-owned subsidiary company early next year. The trust has so far refused to change its plans, so staff feel industrial action is their only option, says UNISON. UNISON has been campaigning against the creation of subsidiaries UK-wide, believing them to be back-door privatisation of the NHS and a blatant tax-avoidance scheme. Strike action will take place at all three hospital sites from 7am on Monday 18 November to 6.59am on Wednesday 20 November read more
Unison University of Birmingham Branch to strike again week beginning November 18th https://twitter.com/BhamUniUnison/status/1189138782748139522
Drug and alcohol workers escalate strike as Addaction boss is appointed Liberal Democrats’ new chief executive – 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. read more
Shock figures show almost 200 construction workers killed since 2013 (5 Nov) – No one should go to work not knowing if they are going to make it through the day unharmed – or even alive says GMB Union. Almost 200 construction workers have been killed and more than 26,000 seriously injured at work in recent years, shocking statistics reveal. A total of 195 people have been killed doing construction work since 2013, official figures show read more
Asda delay deadline as company prepare to sack workers closer to Christmas (1 Nov) – Real life situations won’t have changed in the space of a week for those who can’t sign punishing new contract, says GMB. GMB, the union for Asda workers has called on the company to lift its threat of the sack from workers. The call comes after the company today announced a delay to its deadline to sign a new contract or be dismissed. Asda has extended its deadline for workers’ sign until November 10 read more sign petition
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!
Union warns winter rail cancellations are set to increase as dispute with Scotrail continues (31 Oct) – TSSA today reveals that flexing its industrial muscle is boosting its popularity amongst rail workers. More than 30 Scotrail workers have joined the union since its work to rule began in a dispute because franchise managers Abellio want driver managers to drive trains. Almost 170 scheduled trains have failed to run in October after TSSA management members refused to compromise rail safety and substitute for low driver numbers read more
NIPSA Angry at the Decision to Cut Public Sector Pay for the Tenth Year in a Row (31 Oct) – The Department of Finance has today published the 2019/20 Pay Remit for public sector workers. The announcement of a one per cent increase, with anything above that coming out of departmental efficiency savings, means that the austerity agenda continues with no change to pay policy for 2019/20. Effectively this means that public sector workers whether they be civil servants, heath workers or education workers etc will have their pay increase capped at a below inflation level for the tenth year in a row. This is totally unacceptable read more
Strikes in sixth form colleges (4 Nov) – National Education Union members working in 25 Sixth Form Colleges will be taking their second day of strike action on Tuesday 5 November to defend their pay, working conditions and employment read more
Nottingham College strikes suspended at eleventh hour (5 Nov) – Strikes scheduled to start on Tuesday 5 November at Nottingham College have been suspended at an eleventh hour meeting of UCU members at the college. Staff were due to walk out for 14 days this month, but have agreed to suspend the action for two weeks so they can consider a new offer from the college read more
Deal agreed to end long-running dispute at Bradford College (4 Nov) – A long-running dispute at Bradford College has ended after the college agreed to end compulsory job losses, move hourly-paid staff on to permanent contracts and award all staff an extra five days’ annual leave. Members of UCU took 10 days of strike action between November 2018 and July 2019 read more
Strikes on the cards at Coventry University in row over pay and appraisals (1 Nov) – Strikes are on the cards at Coventry University as part of a row over pay progression and the imposition of a controversial new appraisal process read more. Send solidarity messages to Coventry University UCU branch secretary – Sharon McGuire, [email protected]
Strikes not ruled out as University of Nottingham steps up outsourcing plans (30 Oct) – Staff at the University of Nottingham have vowed to fight plans to outsource up to 125 people working in its IT department. The University and College Union (UCU) says the university needs to scrap the plans, which would affect around half of the staff in the IT department, and sort out the current problems with its outsourced student record systems. Almost 1,000 people have already signed a petition calling for a halt to the plans and unions are refusing to rule out strike action read more
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
FBU response to Grenfell Tower Inquiry Phase 1 report (30 Oct) – Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary: “The Inquiry’s interim report must finally be a turning point for fire safety in the UK. Warning after warning from previous fires were ignored; central government must now take responsibility for ensuring that recommendations are applied nationwide, not just in London; this has never simply been a matter for the London Fire Brigade. That change can only be achieved by establishing a new, credible and accountable body responsible for fire and rescue service policy in the UK. Firefighters stand in solidarity with the bereaved, survivors and residents and share their grief for the lives lost that night. They have an absolute right to ask difficult questions. However, we have said from the start that the order of issues to be investigated has been entirely wrong. The Inquiry’s structure prioritises scrutiny of firefighters, who did everything that they could to save lives, over investigating the critical issues of public safety that led to the fire and caused it to spread in such a disastrous manner. Before any firefighter arrived that night, Grenfell Tower was a death trap. Firefighters that night acted bravely in impossible circumstances, many of them repeatedly risking their own lives to save others. We welcome that this is reflected in the Inquiry’s report…” read more
HIAL and Prospect announce resumption of talks to resolve pay dispute (5 Nov) – Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (HIAL) and Prospect, in a joint statement, are today announcing the resumption of talks aimed at resolving the ongoing dispute between HIAL and Prospect air traffic control officers. Talks will begin again at the end of this week read more
Round 2 of St Mary’s hospital Strikes 11, 12 & 13 Nov – The fight for equality at St Mary’s hospital continues. After 3 amazing days of strike action on 28th, 29th and 31st October which was overwhelmingly supported by patients, doctors and nurses at the hospital, the cleaners will walk out again for a further 3 days on 11th, 12th and 13th November. Even greater numbers of workers and supporters expected to join the pickets for round 2. The workers are demanding full equality of pay and T&Cs with NHS staff on the AFC contracts. The workers are currently outsourced to a cut-throat multinational called Sodexo which makes around £1 billion a year profit and treats the workers like dirt. There is no excuse for a two tiered, segregated workforce in the NHS, or anywhere, and the St Mary’s workers will strike until equality is won! Facebook event
Migrant Workers at Boris Johnson donor’s club vote overwhelmingly in favour of strike action (5 Nov) – Kitchen porters working at a private members club owned by millionaire Brexiteer Robin Birley have voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action, with a 100% yes vote on a 90% turnout. The workers will be meeting in the coming days to discuss potential strike dates. The porters, all of whom are migrant workers, are demanding they be paid the London Living Wage of £10.55 an hour and proper occupational sick pay. Their union, the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB), has today launched an appeal to raise money for the strike fund, which can be found here
Join the strike at Highgate Wood School from 4pm on Tuesday November 12th – Our members are striking at Highgate Wood School, over its cleaning contractor Lakethorne Group Services’ failure to pay the London Living Wage, lack of pay arrangements for special duties, failure to provide adequate materials, or to equalise pay and annual leave entitlements, as well as mismanagement of work schedules. Join the strike from 4pm and stay as long as you want to make some noise with our members and support cleaners asking for fair working conditions! 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
Freedom for Chilean soldier David Veloso
On October 18, the Chilean people began a generalized social uprising, triggered by a rise in passenger transportation in Santiago de Chile and violent repression of secondary students demonstrating against the increase by massively evading payment. This was the drop that filled the patience of the Chilean people, after thirty years of abuse and neoliberal capitalism administered by the civil governments that succeeded the Pinochet military civic dictatorship. On October 19, President Sebastián Piñera, imposed the state of emergency in the city of Santiago, placed an army general in charge of the city, and curfew was imposed. Piñera took to the streets the Armed Forces that joined the police in the repression of social protest for the first time since the end of the dictatorship. The measure was quickly also applied in most regions of the country.
Despite this, the demonstrations were growing in number and massiveness, and people bravely challenged the curfew and repression. Just one week after the popular protest broke out, there was the most massive demonstration in the history of Chile. On October 25, two million protested only in Santiago, to which we must add other regions of the country, with four requirements: remove the Armed Forces from the street, Piñera’s resignation, withdraw from Congress the discussion of all those laws «against the people», and to convene a Constituent Assembly to achieve a new Constitution that replaces that of 1980 implemented under dictatorship and still in force.
On October 28, Sebastián Piñera was forced to lift the state of emergency and curfew, which had not allowed him to end the popular protest, despite the serious violations of Human Rights, the dead, missing and injured people. On the contrary, the state of emergency and the curfew revealed the inability of the government.
It was in that context that the soldier David Veloso Codocedo (21), refused to embark from Antofagasta to Santiago to participate in the repression and threw his weapon to the ground. The military prosecutor Cristián Ramírez, ordered the arrest of the young man who can be sentenced even to 10 years in military prison under military law, since then the young man is imprisoned.
Given this we have formed a committee against repression and consider David Veloso as a conscientious objector soldier. We request your support for the campaign demanding his freedom by sending letters to President Sebastián Piñera, demanding the immediate freedom of this brave young man.
You can write to President Piñera through the website – http://escribenos.presidencia.cl/Formulario?seleccion=Presidente
Email a copy to Committee against repression in Chile [email protected]
Santiago, Chile, November 2, 2019
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