We headline this week’s NSSN bulletin with two strikes by RMT members to maintain the safety critical role of the guard – On West Midlands Trains and South Western Railway.
The RMT has fought this attack over the last few years on a whole number of train companies. The NSSN gives the union and its members our full support.
It won’t be lost on RMT members that the Tories have announced their plan to introduce new anti-union legislation, specifically for the rail industry, if elected. At the same time, Jeremy Corbyn has promised to repeal Tory anti-union laws, including the Trade Union Act as well as pledging to re-nationalise the railways.
RMT action in defence of safety on South Western Railway rock solid this morning as company slams the door on talks (2 Dec) – RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said; “RMT members are standing rock solid and united on South Western Railway this morning as we begin a full month of strike action in support of the safest method of train operation and dispatch. This strike is solely about protecting safety and accessibility on SWR trains. RMT is angry and frustrated that a set of proposals that would have guaranteed the safety-critical role of the guard at the point of dispatch, and which would have cost the company absolutely nothing, were kicked back in our faces last week. There is no rational explanation for the company position and we can only assume that either they or their paymasters in Government wanted this strike action to go ahead for politically motivated purposes…” read more
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
Send messages of support to RMT NEC member and SWR guard Geoff Kite – [email protected]
RAIL UNION RMT today issued a fresh call for further talks as members across the length and breadth of South Western Railway are standing firm on the second day of the December strike action in the fight for safe and accessible rail travel for all (3 Dec) read more
RMT remains solid and determined this morning on West Midlands Trains action in fight for guards and safety – Rail union RMT said that strike action on West Midlands Trains remains solid and determined in the latest union fight to put the role of the guard and the safety of the travelling public before the profits of the private train operator read more
- 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
To make a donation to the hardship funds set up for RMT members striking against Driver Only Operation:-
National Dispute Fund:
Transfers can be made directly into the account using the details below:
Account name: RMT Head Office National Dispute Fund
Account no: 20113524
Sort Code: 60-83-01
Alternatively, you can send cheques to the Finance Department at Head Office.
Unity House 39 Chalton Street London NW11JD
RMT Wessex DOO Dispute Fund:
Transfers can be made directly into the account using the details below:
Account name: RMT Wessex DOO Dispute Fund
Account no: 20399461
Sort Code: 60-83-01
Alternatively, you can send cheques to the Finance Department at Head Office Finance Department at Head Office.
Unity House 39 Chalton Street London NW11JD
and we will pass them on.
RMT Arriva Rail North Dispute Fund:
Transfers can be made directly into the account using the details below:
Account name: RMT Arriva Rail North Dispute Fund
Account no: 20399461
Sort Code: 60-83-01
Or send it direct to Finance Department at Head Office.
Unity House 39 Chalton Street London NW11JD
RMT to begin ballot over Overground ticket offices (2 Dec) – RAIL UNION RMT confirmed today that balloting will begin on Friday on Arrival Rail London for strike action and action short of a strike to resist an all-out assault on ticket offices. The union has been campaigning against plans to axe Overground ticket offices for the past two years and although the initial plans were pushed back the union has now accused ARL and TFL of trying to smuggle through a closure programme by stealth 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
Get the Tories out in the general election
The NSSN is campaigning to get the Tories out in the general election. It was the main theme of both our annual conference in July and TUC Rally in September.
We are an organisation of rank and file trade unionists supported by ten national unions. We’re not affiliated to any political party but Jeremy Corbyn’s pro-worker policies would be a big step forward for workers and their families. These include the repeal of “anti-trade union legislation including the Trade Union Act 2016.” We call for the removal of Tory anti-union laws.
We will be producing material throughout the election campaign to make the case to get rid of the Tories. These NSSN bulletins can be downloaded: ‘Full Work Rights’, ‘Reverse the education cuts’ and ‘All health care is in crisis’
Support the CWU in the Royal Mail dispute. Defend the right to strike –read more on CWU Facebook page
The NSSN is calling on all our supporters and affiliates to give full support and solidarity to the CWU after their appeal against the outrageous High Court ruling was dismissed last week. We call for an emergency meeting of the TUC General Council to discuss solidarity action and protests.
Email messages of support to the CWU via [email protected] and follow the union on their website, Facebook and twitter via @CWUnews using the #WeRiseAgain hashtag
Waltham Forest Trades Union Council PUBLIC MEETING: Support the Royal Mail postal workers
Tuesday 3rd December at 7pm
William Morris Community Centre,
Greenleaf Road, Walthamstow E17 6QQ
Speakers: Vinnie Micallef CWU East London branch secretary
CWU National Dispute – resources page
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
Support the UCU HE strike
Solid support for strikes sends clear message to universities, says UCU – UCU said that strong shows of support for strikes at 60 UK universities* sent a clear message that staff would not settle for pay cuts, increased pension costs or deteriorating conditions. The union said it welcomed a call from shadow education secretary Angela Rayner for universities to put students first and bring a reasonable offer back to the negotiating table. UCU has warned that if universities fail to make improved offers then further waves of strike action could follow in the new year, with even more staff taking part. UCU is currently consulting with branches at other universities about being balloted again to join further action and revealed today that 3,500 people have joined the union in the three weeks since it announced this round of eight strike days read more
Tell Trump: hands off our NHS! (Hosted by Stop Trump) – demonstrate: assemble 4pm Trafalgar Square, London Tuesday December 3rd
Donald Trump is visiting Britain next week – and now we know that he wants to buy our NHS as a souvenir. Leaked documents confirm that the government is using the NHS as a bargaining chip to secure trade deals with Trump. Protesters will be on the streets to say: Donald Trump, keep your hands off our NHS!
Support these indefinite industrial actions:-
Bromley library workers renew strike mandate as dispute enters sixth month – Bromley library workers, who are in the sixth month of strike action against their controversial employer social enterprise leisure services’ giant Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL), have unanimously renewed their strike mandate. The 50 library staff, who started their strike on 6 June, have now voted by 100 per cent to continue the strike action from Monday 25 November.
Unite is escalating the Bromley Library strike campaign! The 50 library staff, who started their strike on 6 June, voted 100% to continue the strike action from 25 November. Our members need your support!
📢Join us for one of the campaign days!
📢Follow Unite London & Eastern to find out details about the future events!
Greenwich Leisure Limited comes under the spotlight in a ‘damning’ report by Unite (3 Dec) – A ‘damning’ report on controversial employer social enterprise leisure services’ giant Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL), which has contracts with councils in London and Belfast, is published today (Tuesday 3 December) by Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union. The report Greenwich Leisure Limited – a shameful enterprise catalogues an organisation, with a £300 million turnover, that relies heavily on zero hours’ contracts, refuses to recognise trade unions, and whose claim to be ‘worker-led’ is spurious as the worker representative on the board in the recent past has always been a senior manager. The report comes as the 50 library staff in Bromley, employed by GLL, continue their strike which started on 6 June – one of the longest industrial disputes in modern times. The strike is over staffing and other issues specifically relating to GLL’s stewardship of Bromley’s 14 libraries. To highlight the report, Unite has organised a lobby tomorrow (Wednesday 4 December) at GLL’s headquarters, Middlegate House, The Royal Arsenal, London, SE18 6SX from 12.00 until 14.00. Unite will also be demonstrating when GLL holds a Christmas ball on Friday (6 December) at York Hall, Bethnal Green, London E2 9PJ. Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “Today we expose the truth about GLL, not just in Bromley, but across its wider operations which employ about 14,000 people. It is a damning indictment. We ask a serious question of GLL’s partner organisations, including local authorities, which claim to act ethically – do they want the reputational damage of being linked with GLL? The GLL’s flawed business model is based on zero hours’ contracts and job cuts which seriously erodes the public services, such as leisure centres and libraries, it has pledged to maintain. Unite recognises we are in for the long haul with GLL whose ethos makes a mockery of the term ‘social enterprise’. The campaign will last until such time that GLL becomes an employer which recognises the true worth of its staff and negotiates with trade unions in a constructive fashion.” Read more
Here is a link for our crowd funding site which has 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 4 after returning to work and still no further forward with our dispute , anger amongst the support workers and the latest release today has not helped. Its definitely made us stronger and more determined to have this band 3 implemented now, ballot papers received over weekend for further industrial action and we are confident of high return. Generic job descriptions are used widely within the NHS yet we are being treated differently to any other group of workers. NHS Tayside originally were saying they were being directed from the Scottish terms and conditions Committee(STAC) and that all staff had to be trained in all areas before the band 3 would be implemented. Now they are saying if you are trained in Aseptic you will be graded at a band 3 and all other staff will need to complete the training in all other areas with the exception of Aseptic duties. They Just make this up as they go along. Read more on 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
Date for your diary: 2020 NSSN Conference Saturday July 4th 11am-4.30pm Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, Holborn, London WC1R 4RL
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
Support members at Ealing Tax Office and help keep jobs local (2 Dec) – Members are holding a rally on 5 December to coincide with their next strike action to oppose the closure of their office. HMRC is planning to close its office at International House in Ealing. Earlier this year, PCS members there took five days of action which secured an extension to the office closure date. However, commitments from HMRC, which could have allowed our members to continue their careers within HMRC, were then reneged upon. Members have therefore voted to take further strike action and action short of strike to continue fighting for their jobs. The strike action will commence with two half day walkouts on 5 and 12 December. Also at noon on 5 December there will be a strike rally on the green outside the Drapers Arms at Ealing Broadway. We are encouraging members and supporters to attend the rally to show their backing for the striking workers and their campaign. If good quality jobs are axed in Ealing it will not just impact on the individuals concerned and their families, it will have a knock-on effect on the local economy.
What else you can do:-
Send a message of support to [email protected]
Support us on social media, using the hashtag #SaveEalingTaxOffice
Donate to the strike fund.
For more information on how you can help support our campaign, contact [email protected]
Second week of ISS strike action begins (2 Dec) – HMRC cleaners in Bootle and Liverpool are taking six days strike action, following on from their strikes in September to demand improved pay and conditions. PCS members employed by private contractor ISS who clean HMRC offices took three days strike action last week and are taking another three days this week. This group of workers is small but determined in their fight for a living wage and equal terms and conditions to civil servants. Most of the strikers have taken part in the picket lines, where support from civil servants continues to be reflected in generous donations to the strike fund read more
BREAKING NEWS!! Argos electrical goods deliveries face Christmas shutdown as UPS Staffordshire staff strike over pay (3 Dec) – Argos customers are facing Christmas misery after UPS staff in Barton, Staffordshire, were forced into strike action over a ten month long pay dispute, Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, said today (Tuesday, 3 December). Shunter and HGV drivers employed by UPS at Argos’ flagship distribution centre at Barton, near Burton on Trent, will commence 16 days of strike action beginning 16 December after a pay claim submitted by Unite in March was continually disregarded. Unite members, who are critical to the movement of goods at the Barton site, voted overwhelmingly (90 per cent) in favour of strike action which will start at 18:00 hours on 16 December and end at 17.59 hours on 31 December read more
Protest wins unpaid wages for construction electricians on Spotify rerfurb job – the NSSN joined a protest today December 3rd. Unite Executive Council member Frank Morris said this about the agency’s antics, “Thanks guys who attended the demo at short notice. 20 guys who had been knocked up to 7 weeks money 2 weeks before Christmas are now to be paid. Payment to the lads is now being paid no later than Friday. If it ain’t we are going back. But looks a good result.”
Wigan council mechanics ballot for strike after ‘one compromise too many’ on pay and shifts (2 Dec) – Wigan council fleet mechanics, who have reluctantly accepted rota changes to reduce overtime that will leave some up to £400 a month worse off, are being balloted for strike action after being told they will also be forced to work late on Fridays, Unite said today (Monday 2 December). The mechanics, who repair and maintain nearly 300 Wigan council municipal vehicles, have agreed to change from a four day shift pattern to a five in order to comply with the council’s overtime cost saving measures read more
Woolwich Ferry staff to strike on 19 December in pay dispute (2 Dec) – Workers, who operate the Woolwich Ferry used by an estimated 2.6 million passengers a year, will stage a 24 hour strike on Thursday 19 December in a pay dispute. The 56 workers, members of Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, who are employed by Briggs Marine Contractors Ltd, voted unanimously for strike action which will start at 00.01. Unite said that there has been a long history of poor managerial practice by the company. The latest dispute centres on the failure to pay the London living wage (currently £10.75 an hour) on basic pay; the imposition of changes to overtime and shift working; failure to adhere to the agreed job evaluation scheme; and failure to deal with equality issues. In the summer, there were 10 days of strikes on similar issues, but that failed to bring a resolution. Unite re-balloted its members and, as a result, they will now hold a day’s strike on 19 December read more
Unite members in Northern Ireland vote overwhelmingly for strike action despite attempt by Health Department Permanent Secretary Richard Pengelly to interfere with union’s industrial ballot (Dec 2) – Health and social care workers in Unite voted 82.4 percent in favour of strike action and 91.1 for industrial action short of strike action over pay inequality and the staffing crisis. Department of Health must address pay equality demand and end staffing crisis and waste on private agencies. In the absence of an adequate response from the Department of Health to the demand for pay equality, Unite in Health’s four thousand members across the health service in Northern Ireland will now join with broader planned strike action on 18th December across the Health and Social Care service read more
Unite members at Hovis in Belfast to be balloted on strike action in fair pay dispute (Dec 1) – Once overtime and shift bonuses are removed, basic rates of pay in bread manufacturer are below the legal minimum. Strike ballot is likely to be result in widespread disruption to bread supply in January 2020 read more
Delfin dispute: Unite welcomes invitation to talks (Nov 28) – Union suspends industrial action pending discussions. Unite, which represents English Language Teachers throughout Ireland, today (Thursday) welcomed the decision by Delfin English School to meet the union to discuss members concerns. Teachers at Delfin have engaged in a series of stoppages, and were scheduled to resume industrial action next read more
DHL Dartford drivers delay strike action to continue ‘productive’ Acas talks over pay and redundancy packages (28 Nov) – Strike action due to start next week over pay and redundancy packages by Dartford-based DHL drivers will be delayed following ‘productive’ talks mediated by the conciliation service Acas this week, Unite said today (Thursday 28 November). The HGV drivers, who deliver to Sainsbury’s stores across parts of London and the South East, have agreed to cancel planned strike action on Friday 6 December in order to allow Acas talks between Unite and DHL to continue on Tuesday 3 December and Wednesday 4 December. Unite members overwhelmingly voted (97.4 per cent) in favour of strike action that is scheduled to take place on a number of dates over the next three months. The 24 hour strike set to begin on 6 December has now been cancelled, however a series of further strikes beginning on 13 December will still go ahead if talks fail read more
Whirlpool in a spin as Bristol workforce strikes over poverty pay (28 Nov) – Workers at Whirlpool’s Bristol tumble dryer factory have been forced to go on strike over poverty pay even though it will cause them hardship over the Christmas period, Unite said today (Thursday 28 November). Pay is so low at the factory that some workers have to visit food banks in order to feed themselves and their families. The workers are asking for a pay increase of £1.25 to £10 an hour. Unite has suggested that the increase in pay could be offset by a reduction in the pay that workers receive during the factory’s shutdown periods. After Whirlpool offered a miserly 1.25 per cent increase – equivalent to a 13p an hour rise – more than 90 Unite members were balloted for strike action with an overwhelming majority (80 per cent) voting in favour. As a result, two 24 hour strikes have been scheduled for 12 December and 6 January read more
Public opinion is key to resolving Bradford’s libraries and museums’ dispute as more strikes announced for next week – The strength of public opinion is the key that could unlock the long-running Bradford libraries and museums’ dispute, Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, said today (Wednesday 27 November), as more strikes were announced for next week. More than 70 Unite members will stage all-out strikes at the city’s 14 library and museums on Tuesday (3 December) and Friday (6 December), as well as targeted action on Monday (2 December), Wednesday (4 December) and Thursday (5 December). Unite members at the City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council have already taken nine days of strike action in defence of the service which faces swingeing cuts read more Please send messages of support and donations FAO Mark Martin to Winwaed House, 64-66 Crossgates Road, Leeds, LS15 7NN, cheques payable to Unite the Union
Westex Carpets staff to strike over ‘insulting’ pay freeze – Staff at West Yorkshire carpet manufacturer Westex Carpets will go on strike tomorrow (Wednesday 20 November) in a dispute over pay, Unite has said. Unite members will begin continuous strike action at two Westex Carpet sites in Cleckheaton and Dewsbury tomorrow after the company tabled a pay offer of 2.2 per cent, which was subsequently rejected by the membership. Westex Carpets responded by taking the offer off the table and implementing a pay freeze until at least April 2020. The company cited financial difficulties for the pay freeze, despite making pre-tax profits of £5.44m during 2018/19 and £5.164m in 2018/17. The membership believes that Westex Carpets’ profits will continue at the current level and voted in favour of strike action that will last until the dispute is settled read more
To make a donation to the hardship fund:-
Account name – TGWU
Account number – 20175407
Sort code – 60/83/01
Reference – WESTEX STRIKE FUND
Month long Lincolnshire health visitors’ strike starts today over council’s ‘divide and rule’ jobs move – Lincolnshire health visitors started their month-long strike today (18 November) as cracks appeared in the county council’s hardline ‘divide and rule’ policy over future job roles. Unite confirmed today that the health visitors started their strike at 00:01 today ending at 23:59 on Friday 13 December over plans that could see some of them lose an estimated £150,000 over the duration of their careers. Unite is due to meet the county council, under the auspices of the conciliation service Acas, tomorrow, (Tuesday 19 November). 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 read more
McGill bus workers vote for industrial action – Unite the union members in McGill Bus Services have today (12 November) voted for industrial action over a pay dispute affecting the company’s ex-Arriva staff. Around 50 Unite members, which includes drivers, shunters and labourers, voted by 85 per cent for strike action, and action short of a strike. The action is scheduled to begin on 26 November. The depots affected by three days of 24 hour industrial action and a continuous overtime ban are Inchinnan and Johnstone. The other dates of action are 2 and 9 December read more
UNISON members are rallying at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Aylesbury, Bucks this Friday from 11am to 2pm in support of the campaign by Sodexo workers to get their NHS pay award. Please send messages of support to [email protected]
Health workers in Bradford win privatisation battle. Wholly owned subsidiary plans dropped – Plans by the Bradford NHS Trust to transfer porters, cleaners, security staff and others into a private company have been scrapped, says UNISON. Earlier this year, senior managers at the Trust announced plans to transfer hundreds of staff into a new wholly owned subsidiary company. Extremely unhappy at the prospect of being forced to leave the NHS, the affected NHS employees – who belong to UNISON – voted for strike action. They took to the picket lines for a total of three weeks over the summer to oppose the plans. The support staff were angry about the threat to transfer their jobs to a private company. This amounts to backdoor privatisation, says UNISON. But after lengthy negotiations between UNISON and the Trust Board, senior executives have agreed to scrap the plans read more
Please find below details of forthcoming action*. You are encouraged to send messages of solidarity to the email address below:
|St Catherine’s Catholic School / Bexleyheath
(Unacceptable Management Style)
|Tuesday 3 December
Wednesday 4 December
Thursday 5 December
|Salford City College / Salford||Wednesday 4 December
Thursday 5 December
Amazon Black Friday protests staged across UK (29 Nov) – GMB is staging Black Friday and Cyber Monday protests across the UK in anger at the ‘appalling’ treatment of workers 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!
HSC Ballot on Safe Staffing and Pay Justice (29 Nov) – NIPSA Health Campaign
I am pleased to confirm the result of the Industrial Action ballot as follows:
Are you prepared to take part in Industrial action consisting of a Strike?
Are you prepared to take part in Industrial Action short of a Strike?
This landslide result is a clear message that NIPSA members are not prepared to continue to work within a Health & Social Care service that has unsafe staffing levels, that puts patients in danger and where they are paid significantly less than their colleagues in England, Wales and Scotland for doing the same work. This will leave the Department of Health and Trust employers in no doubt of the anger and frustration felt by members. NIPSA’s Health Central Panel and Health Reps will meet on Thursday 28 November 2019 to consider the ballot result and develop a strategic plan for Industrial Action. NIPSA will continue to seek to co-ordinate with our colleagues in the other health unions. All Branches are now asked to prepare their members for action.
Assistant Secretary read more
BREAKING NEWS!! NIPSA have just announced that all Health Members across NI including health and social care, social workers, community Care, admin & secretarial, support services all out December 18 & indefinite action short of strike from December 19
Northern Ireland members stage historic first day of industrial action (3 Dec) – Nursing staff will work to rule on the first day of an escalating programme of industrial action in the ongoing dispute over safe staffing and pay read more
Two-day strike at Tower Hamlets college in row over pay (2 Dec) – Staff at the Tower Hamlets branch of New City College will begin a 48-hour walkout tomorrow (3 December) as part of an ongoing dispute over pay and conditions. Members of the University and College Union (UCU) will be on picket lines from 8am at New City College’s main entrances on Poplar High Street and Arbour Square. The dispute centres on the college’s failure to make a decent pay offer to staff who have seen the value of their pay decline by 25% in the past decade. The pay gap between teachers in colleges and schools currently stands at over £7,000, despite the fact that around two-thirds of college heads say pay is a major obstacle in attracting staff. UCU members have already taken six days of strike action this year as part of the dispute, with a three-day walkout in May followed by two days of strike action in June and a day of action during the student enrolment period in September. Members were balloted for further strike action in September and nine in ten of those who voted (90%) backed more walkouts read more
Support the strikes at Coventry University in appraisal row – Coventry University will be hit with strike action on Thursday (21 November) unless it urgently addresses staff concerns about its controversial appraisal process, UCU confirmed today. UCU members will be on picket lines outside the university’s main entrances on Gosford Street from 8am on Thursday, before heading to a rally outside the Graham Sutherland Building at 10am with speakers including UCU general secretary Jo Grady. Thursday’s walkout is the first of five strike days, with staff also due to take action on Tuesday 26 and Friday 29 November, followed by a two-day strike on Tuesday 3 and Wednesday 4 December. Send solidarity messages to Coventry University UCU branch secretary – Sharon McGuire, [email protected] read more
MOLA archaeologists to strike over pay (29 Nov) – Prospect members at Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA) are to strike on 11 December in the first of a series of one-day strikes in a dispute over pay. Action short of a strike including work to rule will also commence on 11 December. MOLA executive managers imposed a 2.5% pay award in June even though it had been rejected by union members. Members have reported difficulty paying for rent, mortgages, childcare, travel and even food read more
Victory for POA in major health and safety case regarding staff assaults (2 Dec) – The POA has secured a landmark agreement by the Prison Service which for the first time:
- commits managers to a legally binding procedure for addressing urgent health and safety concerns, and
- ensures that the POA can advise its members of their health and safety rights without being accused of unlawfully inducing industrial action.
This is the result of a successful settlement of a claim arising out of health and safety concerns raised by POA members at HMP Lindholme in October 2018. On 12th October 2018, members at HMP Lindholme arrived at work to hear that two of their colleagues had been seriously assaulted the night before. They had long-running concerns about the safety of the prison and did not feel safe running a full regime that day, so carried out a controlled regime. The POA branch committee, supported by an NEC member, tried to engage with local prison management on behalf of members about their concerns, but were instead accused by management of unlawfully inducing industrial action. The Prison Service brought a claim against the POA for an injunction and damage read more
Hospital cleaners, caterers and porters declare indefinite strike action in what will be the longest strike in the NHS’ history – Members of the trade union United Voices of the World (UVW) will begin indefinite strike action in January 2020 at St. Mary’s Hospital, West London. The strike will see up to 200 cleaners, caterers and porters outsourced by Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust to French multinational Sodexo walk off the job in a demand to become NHS employees. The strike will be the longest in the NHS’ History and is endorsed by the London Regional Council of the British Medical Association. The workers have already taken 6 days of strike action with 9 more days planned for the 25th, 26th, 27th and 28th of November and the 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th of December. The announcement of an indefinite strike commencing in January 2020 is the latest turn in an ongoing dispute between cleaners, caterers and porters and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. So far the strike has seen hundreds of workers and supporters picket and peacefully occupy St Mary’s hospital, Charing Cross and Western Eye hospital, all of which are a part of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. Picket lines are from 8am – 5pm read more
‘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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