The NSSN sends solidarity to the CWU as they move to re-ballot members in Royal Mail.
As readers of this bulletin will know, the union overwhelmingly smashed the undemocratic voting thresholds in the Tory anti-union laws in their national strike ballot last October – a 97% vote for action in on a 76% turnout. Scandalously however, one unelected High Court judge dismissed the ballot and the action, planned for during the general election and the busiest time of the year for the company.
Now after attempts by the union to resolve the dispute, they feel no option but to again ballot members for action. This comes at the same time as Boris Johnson’s tory government planning even more anti-union laws, targeted for now at least at the rail and transport unions.
The NSSN pledges our full support to the CWU and their members in Royal Mail. Already, NSSN members are organising solidarity meetings to build support for the CWU, the rail and transport unions and other workers taking action. We encourage such rallies and meetings of the NSSN, trades councils and union branches – ‘An injury to one is an injury to all!’
Watch CWU video on re-ballot here
NSSN solidarity rallies: ‘Fight the new Tory anti-union laws! Support the strikes’
Coventry – 7pm, Thursday February 13, Methodist Central Hall, Warwick Lane, CV1 2HA
London – 7.30pm, Tuesday February 18, Indian YMCA, 41 Fitzroy Square, Bloomsbury, W1T 6AQ
Support the CWU in the Royal Mail dispute and Stop the Tories new planned anti-union law. Defend the right to strike
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. We call for an emergency meeting of the TUC General Council to discuss solidarity action and protests at this act and the new anti-union laws targeted at the rail and transport unions.
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 – click here to join
Liverpool mail strike called off after company concedes deal (Jan 17) – Industrial action that had been due to start on Merseyside tomorrow morning has been halted, after Royal Mail bosses today withdrew a disciplinary case against a CWU rep read more
Support these indefinite industrial actions:-
Unite & BFAWU
Support the all-out strike at Hovis in Belfast, starting this week
Unite: All-out strike for fair pay set to commence at Hovis as workforce votes overwhelmingly for industrial action (Jan 20) – Pickets for Boucher Road site will go up at one minute past midnight on Friday after 88 percent majority votes for strike action in pursuit of 5.1 percent pay claim. Deducting shift premiums, overtime and bonuses, Hovis workers receive a basic wage 90 pence below national minimum wage threshold read more
BFAWU members in Hovis Belfast vote overwhelmingly in favour of strike action following pay talks. Strike Action planned to commence at 12.01am Friday 24th Jan, solidarity to all our members involved! https://twitter.com/bfawuni/status/1219570877022515200 read more
Support the Unite Bromley strike – Unite members are taking action to defend jobs being led by 50 members of the union employed by Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) and who work at Bromley’s libraries. The workers have been on continuous strike since Thursday 6 June. They recently renewed their strike mandate and began the latest continuous strike action on Monday 25 November. Once Unite members became aware that the strikers had voted again to renew the strike mandate a fund raising exercise was organised. Unite branches from Scotland to Gibraltar and many places in between made donations and over £20,000 was raised for the campaign. The strike is as a result of the plans by GLL, which claims to be a social enterprise, to slash staffing levels by 35 per cent making it impossible for the council’s 14 libraries to remain fully functioning. Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “The generosity of Unite branches across the UK, has greatly helped to show GLL that this is a campaign supported by people across the UK and has given our members a huge morale boost as well. GLL need to understand that the strength and conviction of our members is undiminished and strikes will continue until GLL provides cast iron assurances that they will not slash jobs. Our members fundamentally believe that libraries improve people’s lives and that GLL’s current plans will destroy the ethos of the service. Unite believes that this dispute can be resolved if GLL is prepared to enter into honest negotiations. Unite’s door is very much open to allow such talks to occur.”
📢Join us for one of the campaign days!
📢Follow Unite London & Eastern to find out details about the future events!
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 Westex Carpets staff strike – Westex Carpet strike reaches two month mark: Members of Unite at the Westex Carpets factory in Cleckheaton are about to reach the two month mark in their ongoing dispute over pay. The strike began on November 20th after workers rejected a minimal pay rise which was then withdrawn by the company, which has since refused further dialogue 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
Support the Tayside Pharmacy workers – 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. Feel free to use this affiliation letter
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
Sign petition: to The Mayor of London and the London Assembly – End the privatisation of cleaning at Transport for London
RMT to hold protest against workplace violence on London Underground (20 Jan) – London Underground union RMT will be holding a demonstration tomorrow outside Transport for London’s offices as part of its campaign to highlight the company’s continuous failure to take proper steps to address the issue of workplace violence faced by London Underground station grade members. The protest will take place on Tuesday 21st January 2020 between 13.30-15.30 to coincide with the next meeting of the LUL Workplace Violence Group at Palestra House, 197 Blackfriars Road, London SE1 8NJ. The demonstration is part of RMT’s campaign to fight for a safe workplace by ending lone working, to demand that all existing Revenue Control Inspector vacancies be filled and to carry out an audit of all stations to ensure safe staffing levels read more
RMT Rail Gourmet workers at Paddington depot to strike again this month in fight for workplace justice (17 Jan) – RAIL UNION RMT has confirmed that Rail Gourmet workers at Paddington depot will be striking again this month in an on-going fight for workplace justice and safety. RMT Rail Gourmet members at Paddington have been instructed to take further strike action by not booking on for any shifts that commence between 0001 Hours on Thursday 30th January 2020 to 2359 Hours on Friday 31st January 2020 read more
RMT to hold campaign for Living Wage protest for Northern Gateline staff in Manchester on Friday 24th January (15 Jan) – Rail union RMT will be holding a demonstration outside contractor Carlisle Support Services’ offices as part of its campaign for a Living Wage for staff working on the Northern gateline. The protest will take place Friday 24th January, 12 noon, outside York House, 20 York Street, Manchester, M2 3BB read more
Donate to the RMT strike fund on South Western Railway – The NSSN is appealing for financial support and solidarity for the RMT and their members on SWR.
Send messages of support and requests for speakers for your union branch and/or trades council to RMT NEC member and SWR guard Geoff Kite – [email protected]
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
Support striking Ealing HMRC members on 22 January (Jan 20) – PCS HMRC members in Ealing are walking out again from noon on Wednesday (22) in opposition to the closure of their office. There was great support for the latest walkout last week when more than 100 PCS HMRC strikers joined a lunchtime walkout. HMRC is planning to close the office at International House in Ealing. In 2019 our members there took 5 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 and our members voted to take further strike action and action short of strike to continue fighting for their jobs. Following Wednesday’s strike members will also take further action to seek to persuade the employer to take our demands seriously on:
- 29 January – noon walkout
- 30 January – noon walkout
- 31 January – full day strike action.
What you can do
- Send a message of support to [email protected]
- Show support on social media, using the hashtag #SaveEalingTaxOffice
- Donate to the strike fund.
PCS responds to courts and tribunals £1bn new contract decision (15 Jan) – PCS has called for an end to poverty pay for guards and cleaners as HM Courts and Tribunals Service announces the awarding of a £1 billion new contract. Responding to the decision by HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) to award Engie its facilities management contract for cleaning, maintenance and waste management and OCS to provide guarding, PCS warned that hundreds of our members employed as cleaners and guards working on these contracts remain in dispute with HMCTS and their contractors over their failure to pay the real living wage, allowances, annual leave restrictions and management standards read more
Support striking LGV driving examiners out in all weathers for PCS strike – PCS members, who are LGV driving examiners in the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, have held a week-long action before Christmas. This is a long-running dispute over working practices and restructures. Our members work in various driving test centres, across the country. 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]
Support Merseyside ISS members in HMRC – The members who clean HMRC offices in Bootle and Liverpool have been striking over low pay and poor conditions. The low paid members recently took six days strike action, in addition to previous action in September. Members are demanding a £10 per hour living wage, holidays and sick pay equal to civil servants, and improved job security. Picket lines in Bootle and Liverpool remained strong, with a majority of striking members taking part and support from UCU members who are also on strike. Meanwhile, the strike-breakers brought in by ISS have complained directly to pickets in Liverpool about the amount of work they are having to cover. You can help by donating to the strike fund and sending solidarity messages to [email protected] read more
All-out strike for fair pay set to commence at Hovis as workforce votes overwhelmingly for industrial action (Jan 20) – Pickets for Boucher Road site will go up at one minute past midnight on Friday after 88 percent majority votes for strike action in pursuit of 5.1 percent pay claim. Deducting shift premiums, overtime and bonuses, Hovis workers receive a basic wage 90 pence below national minimum wage threshold read more
Ealing residents face ‘parking ‘lottery’ as workers vote for strikes (20 Jan) – Unite has warned that residents in Ealing in West London face a week of a ‘parking lottery’ after civil enforcement officers employed by outsourcer Serco unanimously voted for strike action, in a dispute over redundancies. The workforce will strike for a week beginning on Friday 31 January with the strike ending on Thursday 7 February. The dispute erupted shortly before Christmas when Serco announced that there would be eight redundancies on the contract but all 60 workers would be at risk. The situation was further exacerbated as Serco refused to enter into collective consultation on the redundancies with Unite. Unite warned Serco that unless it withdrew the redundancies and entered into meaningful negotiations with the workers’ union it would be forced to ballot for industrial action. The Unite members voted by 100 per cent in favour of strike action. Unite has now secured talks with Serco this week but if a resolution to the dispute is not reached then not only will the strike go ahead but further action will be called read more
M25 maintenance workers secure pay rise to resolve dispute (20 Jan) – Workers employed to undertake vital highways maintenance work on the M25 have ended their dispute after securing an improved pay offer. Unite balloted its members for industrial action after an initial pay deal was vetoed by senior management. After Unite balloted for strike action a revised offer of a one year pay deal worth 3.2 per cent and £250 per worker was proposed. The new pay offer was overwhelmingly accepted by members. A total of 250 workers who work from six depots located around the M25 will benefit from the pay deal. The workers are employed by Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operations and work under the auspices of the joint venture company Connect Plus Services. Unite regional officer Malcolm Bonnett said: “This is an excellent pay deal that has been secured by our members standing together…” read more
Workers at Lear Corporation in Sunderland win campaign for trade union rights (20 Jan) – Hundreds of workers at a Sunderland based car parts manufacturer, supplying Nissan and Jaguar Land Rover, are celebrating after winning their campaign for trade union recognition with Unite. Following almost a year of campaigning at the Lear Corporation in Houghton le Spring, the workers have been informed that they now have a legal right to trade union recognition after the government’s Conciliation Arbitration Committee (CAC) ruled that Unite had a majority of workers in membership. The company and Unite have now entered into a 30 day period to reach a formal agreement to negotiate collectively on behalf of the 370 strong workforce. Unite already had recognition at Lear Corporation at its sites in Coventry, Redditch and Alfreton in Derbyshire but the company had a weaker staff council at its factory in Sunderland. The workforce at Sunderland had a number of issues around poor working practices, they felt that the company was not interested in their opinion and needed a strong union in order to have an effective voice at work. The workers, supported by Unite’s organising department, began a campaign in April 2019. After months of determined campaigning and growing membership, amid company resistance, the union applied to the CAC to request it formally ruled on Unite’s right to recognition. On 13 January the CAC declared that Unite has a legal right to negotiate on behalf of all hourly paid shop floor workers, maintenance and team leaders in the just-in-time & foam facilities at the company read more
Heathrow baggage could disappear into a void as baggage handlers strike over pay (17 Jan) – Unite is warning that passengers at Heathrow airport whose baggage is lost, could see their possessions disappear into the void, as specialist baggage handlers prepare to take strike action over pay. The workers who are employed by Global Baggage Solutions Ltd are responsible for finding and repatriating lost baggage with distraught passengers. The dispute is a result of the company refusing to make a pay offer for 2019 and only offering an increase of 32 pence an hour for 2020. The pay offer was unanimously rejected by Unite members but the company refused to negotiate. Unite has called two four day strikes, the first will last from Sunday 2 February to Wednesday 5 February the second strike will be from 22 February to 25 February read more
Heathrow freight and luggage services could be hit as Vanderlande cargo handlers dispute escalates (17 Jan) – Potential strike action at ground handling firm Vanderlande Industries over a pay dispute and attempts at ‘union-busting’ could hit Heathrow freight and baggage services, Unite warned today (Friday 17 January). Unite represents around 80 Vanderlande workers who are responsible for loading freight on and off IAG planes, including those flying under the British Airways, Air Lingus and Iberia brands. Vanderlande staff also operate the Terminal Three luggage belt as well as transporting passenger baggage to and from the terminal, which services One World Alliance, Virgin Atlantic and Emirates. Strike action could leave thousands of passengers without their baggage and potentially impact air travel, as well as affecting IAG air freight services. The union said the breakdown in industrial relations with Vanderlande began after members rejected a 2.5 per cent pay offer in August read more
Sheerness Docks strike off after GB Terminals drivers accept pay offer (16 Jan) – Drivers at logistics firm GB Terminals (Southern) Ltd based at Sheerness Docks, Kent, have cancelled planned strikes after accepting a pay offer from the company, Unite said today (Thursday 16 January). Strike action was called off following talks mediated by the conciliation service Acas between Unite and GB Terminals that resulted in a 2.1 per cent pay offer that was accepted by the membership. Unite represents 26 drivers and other GB Terminals workers who move new Volkswagen Group vehicles, which also include models from Audi, Porsche and Skoda, off ferries arriving in Sheerness and process and park them ready to be picked up by car transporters read more
Birkbeck cleaners win fight to be directly employed (17 Jan) – Successful campaign follows others at universities in London. Cleaning staff at Birkbeck, University of London have won their long-running struggle to have their jobs transferred back in-house. Yesterday was their first day of direct employment since the service was outsourced in the late 1990s. The workers will benefit from improved conditions, plus access to the SAUL pension scheme read more
Support Unison members who work for ISS Facility Services at Homerton Hospital. ISS is the private company that runs catering, domestic, portering and security services at the hospital – Unless they have a supervisory position, none of the staff in this company are paid the current rate of the London Living Wage. Also, some staff have worse terms and conditions. Those who transferred from the previous company still have terms which are broadly comparable to NHS terms and conditions (sick pay, annual leave, weekend/evening enhancements). Those employed after 1st October 2015 do not. They only get statutory sick pay, less annual leave and a flat rate of pay whether they work unsocial hours or not. We are campaigning for fair pay and conditions for this group of workers. Their work is vital to the safe running of our hospital and they should have the same terms as NHS staff.
We are asking you to
- Sign and share our petition: http://bit.ly/fairpay4ISSstaff
- Tweet your support for us to @homertonunison @NHSHomerton @issworld
- Take a selfie with the attached sign and send it to: [email protected]
Please return any paper copies of the petition to the above email or Homerton UNISON c/o Education Centre, Homerton Hospital, London E9 6SR.
Please share this as widely as possible.
Thank you for your support.
Lorna Solomon & Pumula MacDonald Homerton UNISON branch committee
GMB warns about ‘disastrous’ patient transport privatisation (20 Jan) – GMB has warned against the ‘disastrous privatisation of Sussex non-emergency patient transport. The union is calling on Sussex CCG to publically commit to keeping Non-Emergency Patient Transport Services (NEPTS) with current NHS provider. Concern is growing commissioners are set to award a five-year contract to the private sector. GMB, the union for ambulance workers, is convinced patients and ambulance staff alike would reject a return to the privatisation fiasco of the Coperforma years. The union will campaign for South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) to continue their good work of rebuilding the contract and patient service delivery confidence levels, since the CCG’s attempted failed privatisation in 2016 / 2017 read more
Support the ASDA workers and reinstate Michael Hunnum – 12,000 workers faced being sacked before Christmas by scrooge bosses ASDA, who are now owned by US superstore giant Walmart. This threat hanging over them was 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!
TSSA Strike Warning Over Rail Pensions Future (15 Jan) – TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has written to the heads of each of Britain’s train operating companies (TOCs) warning of industrial dispute if there is any attempt to close the Railways Pension Scheme (RPS). The move follows a report in the Financial Times (9th Jan 2020 – ‘Britain’s railway mess will not be sorted until pensions are reformed’). The RPS was set up in 1994 during the privatisation of the railways and is still open to new members, offering a final salary and retirement age at 62 (for the majority of members). In his letter Manuel Cortes says he wants to ‘make it very clear that TSSA will resist any attack on the way that the RPS is structured or if any attempt is made to close it in any form, including to further accrual and to new starters’ read more
Please find below details of forthcoming action. Please send messages of solidarity to the email addresses below:
|St Michael’s Catholic Primary School / Newham (Enforced Academisation)||Tuesday 21 January Wednesday 22 January Thursday 23 January||Louise Cuffaro|
|Wath Academy / Rotherham||Tuesday 21 January Wednesday 22 January Thursday 23 January||Charlotte Hunter|
Teachers at Bridgend school to strike (14 Jan) – Members of the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union at Archbishop McGrath Catholic High School in Bridgend will be taking the first of four planned days of strike action tomorrow (Wednesday) over adverse management practices relating to the detrimental and inappropriate treatment of members which is impacting on their health and welfare read more
Support the civil service strike on January 24th – Strong trade union action has forced politicians to give more money for pay and staffing in health and social care. But so far, workers in the civil service and its ALBs have not been mentioned. We need to send a clear message that we will not be left behind. We have endured almost a decade of pay cuts. We demand a change in the new decade ahead.
Our message to the politicians in Westminster and Stormont is simple
- Fair pay for civil servants
- No more pay cuts
- Hands off our terms and conditions.
Show your solid support for this action on 24 January to push for a decent pay increase for us all read more
Health Dispute Update (17 Jan) – The NIPSA Health Central Panel met yesterday, Thursday 16 January, to consider the latest offer on Pay and Safe Staffing. The Panel had representation from all NIPSA branches covering all Health and Social Care employment areas in attendance. After extensive and detailed discussion the following was agreed:-
- The Panel is recommending that NIPSA members reject Management’s Safe Staffing document.
- The Panel is recommending that members reject Management’s Pay document.
- NIPSA will carry out a comprehensive consultation with members in all employment areas.
- NIPSA industrial action will continue as follows:-
Action short of strike action.
Continue to prepare for selective action across employment areas.
Suspend our Nurses action in line with the RCN decision.
Discuss the 24 January 2020 strike with our Trade Unionist colleagues with a view to setting an alternative date.
NIPSA consultation process will begin next week. Pay and Safe Staffing documents along with notes will be provided. Location and details will follow read more
RCN suspends historic strike action in Northern Ireland (16 Jan) – We’ll now consult members on the offer for pay parity and safe staffing. The RCN has announced the suspension of strike action in Northern Ireland. In line with the governance arrangements of the RCN, the Northern Ireland Board has recommended that strike action is suspended pending consultation with RCN members in Northern Ireland. The detailed framework document received from the Minister will be put before the RCN UK Council on Friday 17 January for discussion and consideration read more
Unison: Northern Ireland health workers suspend strike and vote on government pay offer read more
Unite in health suspends action and will ballot members on Department of Health pay offer read more
Metropolitan Police to face legal action after unlawfully detaining barrister during lawful strike at St. George’s University (UVW 15 day security guard strike for in-house at St George’s University) – The prestigious medical school of St. George’s, University of London, found itself embroiled in controversy today, after a barrister and trade union official was unlawfully arrested on a picket line during an industrial dispute over the role of outsourcing at the university. The independent trade union United Voices of the World (UVW), who organised the industrial action, has said that the arrest marks a potential watershed in industrial relations and could set a dangerous precedent for the erosion of civil liberties and workers’ rights if left unchallenged. The incident, which took place shortly after 9am, saw 12 police officers arrive at the university after being called by management to dispel workers and trade union officials from a lawful picket. In a series of highly irregular events that has seen the Metropolitan Police become the subject of legal action, police officers swiftly issued workers and union officials with a letter from the University claiming that the picket needed to take place outside of NHS property. Several police officers then warned all workers and union officials that they would be arrested if they failed to leave the property within five minutes. When barrister Franck Magennis of Garden Court Chambers, who is currently seconded to UVW as the head of the legal department, inquired into the legal basis of the warning, he was swiftly arrested and handcuffed, and subsequently de-arrested and released less than five minutes later on the condition that he immediately leave the site. The incident appears to represent an attempt by the Metropolitan Police to use criminal sanctions to frustrate lawful industrial action read more
Upcoming strike dates:-
Round 2: 27th, 28th, 29th Jan
Round 3: 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th Feb
Round 4: 24th, 25th, 26th, 27th, 28th Feb
Picket lines are from 8am at the main entrance
There is a special screening of ‘The Big Meeting‘ documentary film (about the fantastic Durham Miners’ Gala) coming up at Art House in Crouch End, London on 29th January. It will be followed by a Q&A with the film’s director Daniel Draper and Mike Jackson and Brett Haran from Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM). Many Unite branches helped with donations to get this film made. Tickets
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
Nigeria: ABBEY TROTSKY VS SUMAL FOODS LIMITED
- Abbey faces four cases in Court over intervention in the plight of Casual Workers in Sumal
- A Call for Solidarity Actions and Financial Support
- Drop Trumped-up Charges against Abbey Trotsky
We of the Campaign for Democratic and Workers Rights (CDWR) solicit solidarity actions including financial supports from trade unions, civil society originations, activists and people of good conscience for the ongoing campaign against the continued persecution of Comrade Abiodun Bamigboye (Abbey Trotsky) by the Nigeria Police and Sumal Foods Limited Ibadan. The offence of Abbey Trotsky is the intervention of the CDWR in solidarity with casual workers of Sumal Foods who had embarked on strike action in October 2018 against poor pay and slave conditions in the company. The struggle won some concessions which have been rolled back. It is in order to deter workers from another fightback and keep them permanently in slave conditions that Abbey is being tied up with four different court cases. He faces two cases at magistrate courts, one of which is criminal, and two cases at industrial court.
Abbey Trotsky was first arraigned at Court 9 magistrate court, Iyaganku, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria on trumped-up criminal charges on July 24, 2019, by the Nigerian police. This was after several arrests and detentions by the police and DSS at the behest of Sumal Foods Limited. The next adjournment date of the matter, which had previously suffered three adjournments at the instance of police, is January 24, 2020. The last adjournment was necessitated by the disqualification of Mr. Adeyinka Olumide Fusika, SAN, counsel to Abbey Trotsky, by the magistrate who ruled that as a senior advocate Mr. Olumide-Fusika cannot appear in magistrate court. However, Abbey has filed an application at the high court to appeal the ruling which is a violation of his right to a lawyer of his choice. We hope that the appeal will be assigned to a court before the date the case is scheduled to come up at the magistrate court.
Another case is at court 2 Magistrate Court, Iyaganku, Ibadan. It was instituted to procure an order to restrain Abbey from entering Sumal Foods premises for a period of 12 months for which they had got an ex parte order on September 28, 2019. The next adjournment date of the case is January 27, 2020. The case has also suffered two different adjournments since it came up for the first time in September 2019.
The two cases at the industrial court Ibadan are assigned to Court 1 and Court 2 respectively while the one in court 1 will be coming up on January 21, 2020, It was filed by the management of Sumal Foods in collaboration with the leadership of National Union of Foods, Beverages and Tobacco Employees (NUFBTE), the workers’ union in the company. The other case in court 2 is scheduled for hearing on January 23, 2020 and it was filed by the over 20 outsourcing companies that recruit over three thousand (3,000) casual workers for Sumal Foods. The applicants in both cases are seeking a restraint order barring Abbey from Sumal premises.
It is sad that the leadership of NUFBTE both in the company and at the national level are working with the Sumal management and the outsourcing companies to subject the workers in the company to slavery condition and to sustain the harassment and persecution of Abbey Trotsky. We call on the Nigeria Labour Congress to call both the union and management to order.As stated earlier all these frivolous cases were instituted with a view of deterring members of the CDWR from intervening in the plight of poor casual workers of Sumal and also strike fear in the minds of mass of casual workers in the company especially now that the enactment of a new minimum wage of N30, 000 will mean that workers could begin to demand an increment in their daily pay.
However, no amount of court cases or intimidation can deter or distract us from continuing to fight for decent pay and human working condition for the mass of workers either in Sumal Food Limited or other workplaces across the country as part of our campaign against casualization and anti-labour practices. We once again call on the leadership of the three labour centres – NLC, TUC and ULC – at the national and state level, civil society organizations, activists and socialists locally and internationally for solidarity actions including physical presence at the courts, public statements, and picketing of Nigerian embassies. We also request financial supports for political activities in support of the legal defence as well as our campaign against casualization in Sumal and other companies. We thank Mr. Olumide-Fusika, SAN and Citipoint Chambers for representing Abbey in all the cases free of charge.
- Police should drop all the trumped-up charges against Comrade Abbey Trotsky
- End to casualization and for improvement in pays and conditions of workers in SUMAL FOOD LIMITED and other workplaces
- Unconditional recall of all workers sacked because of their involvement on October 2, 2018 strike
- Unconditional implementation of a new minimum wage of N30,000 (USD 85) in Sumal, all private companies and public sector without retrenchment.
Send messages of support and arrange to make donations to the CDWR account via E-mail: [email protected]
CDWR National Chair
July 4 – NSSN Conference 11am-4.30pm Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, Holborn, London WC1R 4RL
September 13 – NSSN TUC Rally Brighton 1pm
PHONE 07952 283 558
EMAIL mailto:[email protected]
TWITTER – https://twitter.com/NSSN_AntiCuts
ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE