In the last fortnight, the NSSN has held two impressive rallies in Coventry and London to ‘Fight the new Tory anti-union laws! Support the strikes’.
In both meetings, we have given a platform to workers and union reps currently taking action. It is clear from the number who have spoken that there is a strike wave taking place. Some of it is localised but there are also national action, such as in universities, 6th form colleges and of course, the impending re-ballot by the CWU in Royal Mail. Many of these disputes are winning victories.
The NSSN will continue to give support and help build solidarity for these strikes. Most of them are covered in our weekly bulletin. Please read about them and give as much support as possible. Send a message of support, invite a striker to your union branch or trades council and see if it can give a donation.
This strike wave shows that the union movement is alive and kicking, despite the general election result. Workers are prepared to struggle, given a fighting lead. We are also confident that union members will be up for the fight against any attempt by Boris Johnson to bring in new Tory anti-union laws.
Watch video of London NSSN rally
Fight the anti-union laws events
RMT London Transport Region Rally: ‘Fight for the Right to Strike!’ – 6.30pm, Thursday 27 February in Indian YMCA – 41 Fitzroy Square, Bloomsbury, London W1T 6AQ. Speakers include RMT President Michelle Rodgers and Matthieu Bolle-Reddart French rail union CGT Versailles
RMT/Southampton TUC Solidarity Conference ‘Defend the right to strike’ – 2pm Saturday 7 March Friends Meeting House, 1A Ordnance Rd, SO15 2AZ. Speakers: Steve Hedley RMT AGS, Ronnie Draper BFAWU GS & Rob Williams NSSN Chair, others invited from CWU, UCU, NEU and Unite
Stop union victimisation
Defend Moe Unite – support Moe Muhsin Manir, a hardworking Unite rep on London buses, working for Abellio. We are delighted to report that Moe is back at work. We will keep everyone up to date on any developments. Moe would like to thank everyone who sent support and solidarity.
Support Clive Walder Unite – Clive, a Unite rep, is a longstanding member of the NSSN steering committee. He was dismissed last Friday at National Express in Birmingham. He is appealing. Again, we’ll keep you notified. Email protests to [email protected].
Defend Paul Williams PCS – Activists in the PCS union are preparing a campaign in defence of leading rep Paul Williams. Bosses at the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) have threatened Paul, a member of the PCS’s national executive committee, with compulsory redundancy. It comes during a long-running dispute during which Paul has organised and led national strikes read more
Sign the petition: Reinstate UNISON rep Peter Moorhead and stop victimising trade unionists at Alternative Futures Group (AFG)
Solid support for strikes as students call on university heads to do more to solve disputes (20 Feb) – Support for the biggest ever wave of strikes on university campuses is solid as UCU members at 74 universities begin 14 days of strikes. Striking staff were given a boost this morning as the National Union of Students (NUS) said it backed the walkouts and called on university leaders to work harder to resolve the disputes. The full strike dates are:
Week one – Thursday 20 & Friday 21 February
Week two – Monday 24, Tuesday 25 & Wednesday 26 February. Solidarity with UCU strikes – Rally, 25 February 6pm Royal National Hotel WC1H 0DG Facebook event March for Education to the City – 26 February 12pm Tavistock Square WC1 Facebook event
Week three – Monday 2, Tuesday 3, Wednesday 4 & Thursday 5 March
Week four – Monday 9, Tuesday 10, Wednesday 11, Thursday 12 & Friday 13 March
UCU members at 60 universities walked out for eight days in November and December last year in action that affected around one million students. This next wave of strikes will affect another 14 universities and an additional 200,000 students, as more UCU branches crossed a 50% turnout threshold required by law for them to take industrial action read more
EIS members in the ULA are also taking strike action at Edinburgh Napier University, the University of Aberdeen, the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow School of Art and the University of the West of Scotland are taking action on the following dates:-
- Thursday, 20th February 2020
- Tuesday, 25th February 2020
- Monday, 2nd March 2020
- Thursday, 12th March 2020
- Friday, 13th March 2020
Members at the University of the West of Scotland are out on the first 4 days but also out on Wednesday 11th March instead of Friday 13th March read more
Support these indefinite industrial actions:-
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 Westex Carpets ‘won’t win battle of wills’ as strikes head into ninth week after talks collapse (22 Jan)
To make a donation to the hardship fund:-
Account name – TGWU
Account number – 20175407
Sort code – 60/83/01
Reference – WESTEX STRIKE FUND
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
Justice for Mitie Merseyrail Cleaners demo on Thursday (24 Feb) – RAIL UNION RMT will be holding a demonstration in Liverpool this week as part of its campaign for Justice for Mitie Merseyrail Cleaners and to demand a real living wage now for this crucial group of transport workers. The protest will take place on Thursday 27th February from 13.00-15.00, outside Merseytravel’s Headquarters at No 1 Mann Island, Pierhead, Liverpool. RMT activists and supporters will make the case against poverty pay outside the combined Passenger Transport Authority and Executive for Merseyside’s offices on behalf of a group of crucial staff who do some of the dirtiest jobs on our railways read more
RMT Bakerloo Tube strike rock solid this morning (24 Feb) – Tube union RMT said that strike action by drivers on the Bakerloo Line remains rock solid this morning as members fight for passenger and staff safety in the face of timetable changes bulldozed through by LU bosses. RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said; “RMT members remain rock solid and determined in their action this morning in a dispute which is simply about forcing LU bosses and the Mayor to wake up and take seriously the impact on staff of their timetable changes and the wider implications for the safety culture on the tube…” read more
RMT announces further two days of strike action on SWR over Guard guarantee (24 Feb) – Rail union RMT has confirmed a further two days of strike action will take place on South Western Railway after Guard members voted for industrial action for an historic sixth time. 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 again been left with no choice but to call further strike action in defence of the safety critical role of the Guard. Therefore, our South Western Railway Guard, Commercial Guard and Train Driver members are instructed not to book on for any shifts that commence between:
- 10.00 hours on Monday 9th March 2020 until 09.59 hours on Tuesday 10th March 2020
- 10.00 hours on Thursday 12th March 2020 until 09.59 hours on Friday 13th March 2020 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, who have just voted to renew their mandate to take mote strike action. 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
March on Westminster to support Interserve strikers (24 Feb) – Join the march and rally on Wednesday 26 February as the strikers near the end of their month-long strike action. During the last week of a four-week strike by Interserve workers at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, a solidarity march and rally will be held on Wednesday (26). Assemble at 12.15pm outside the FCO, King Charles Street, London SW1A 2AH. We want to make it a celebration of our public services and our workers so bring banners, placards, family, friends, musical instruments and anything else to make noise and bring attention to our cause. We will march from the FCO to Old Palace Yard in Westminster for a rally at 1pm. You can support the strike in the following ways:
- Sign and publicise the E-action
- Donate to the PCS fighting fund
- Send messages of support to [email protected]
- Visit the picket line at Whitehall/King Charles Street, London, SW1A 2AH. Read more
Solidarity with PCS Ealing tax office workers: protest outside Parliament – 1pm Old Palace Yard, Wednesday March 4th Facebook event. Please show solidarity with PCS Ealing tax office workers, still fighting to save their office and their jobs and to defend public services!
Tower Hamlets set for ‘overflowing bins and piles of rubbish’ in refuse workers strike (25 Feb) – Tower Hamlets residents are facing the prospect of ‘overflowing bins and piles of rubbish’ following the announcement of strike action by Veolia refuse workers over unsettled holiday pay arrears, Unite said today (Tuesday 25 February). Bin collections and street cleaning services in the London borough of Tower Hamlets are set to stop after workers at Veolia, which holds the refuse, recycling and street cleaning contract for the borough, voted in favour of strike action in a dispute over an unsettled collective holiday pay claim. Despite reaching an agreement with Unite and other trade unions on the calculation of holiday pay in August 2018, Veolia owes around 150 workers significant sums in arrears. The firm’s UK waste management division generated revenues of nearly £1 billion in the first half of 2019. Unite, which has about 250 members at Veolia, said that instead of settling the claim collectively the company had deterred staff from claiming the arrears by requiring individuals to launch ‘complicated and drawn out’ legal proceedings. Unite members voted overwhelmingly (96.5 per cent) in favour of strike action in a ballot with a 70 per cent turnout that was held earlier this month. Seven days of strike action beginning on Monday 9 March at 15:00 and ending on Monday 16 March have now been set read more
University Hospital Waterford: Cleaning staff to strike tomorrow (Tuesday) (Feb 24) – Over 125 Unite members working for cleaning services provider Momentum Support at University Hospital Waterford will take strike action tomorrow (Tuesday February 25th). Momentum took over the cleaning services contract at UHW from the ISS facility services company in September 2019, and cleaning workers at the hospital – some with over 20 years’ service – moved to the new company under TUPE read more
Wynnstay drivers’ strike suspended (24 Feb) – Industrial action by HGV drivers working for Wynnstay Agricultural Supplies Limited has been suspended in order to allow conciliation talks, chaired by Acas, to take place. The action by HGV drivers working from both the Llansantfraid and Camarthen depots was due to commence with a 24-hour strike on 2 March. Talks between the employer and the union will now take place on the same date (2 March) read more
Lifeguards suspend strike action for talks in £3,000-a-year pay cut row (21 Feb) – Lifeguards at Blackburn and Darwen leisure centres have suspended strike action this weekend in the dispute over cutting their wages by up to £3,000-a-year as ‘a goodwill gesture’ before talks on Monday (24 February). The 14 lifeguards, employed by Blackburn and Darwen borough council, suspended four days of strike action, due to have started today (Friday 21 February) and end on Monday, prior to talks brokered by the conciliation service Acas read more
Harrods security guards’ strike suspended after renewed talks (21 Feb) – Strike action by security officers and CCTV operators at the iconic Harrods store in Knightsbridge, London, has been suspended following renewed talks with the company, Unite said today (Friday 21 February). Unite is recommending members accept a new pay offer tabled by Harrods, which the union said was reached following ‘constructive negotiations and hard work’ by both sides. Unite members will be balloted on the offer next week. The details of the offer are confidential. Planned strike action for tomorrow (Saturday 22 February), Wednesday 26 February and Saturday 29 February has now been cancelled, while two other strikes set for March have been suspended pending the outcome of the ballot read more
Unite hails Mahle Engine Systems pay deal (20 Feb) – Unite the union has today (20 February) confirmed that its membership at Mahle Engine Systems based in Kilmarnock have accepted a new pay offer. The plant which employs around 185 workers makes high-quality components for motorsport engines, combustion engines and electric vehicles. The union was engaged in pay talks with the company through the auspices of the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) in order to resolve the dispute and avert industrial action. The accepted offer will now mean from January 2020 there will be an increase of 2.8 per cent and in 2021 a 2.8 per cent floor and 3 per cent ceiling linked to the retail price index from January 2021 read more
RSPCA workers vote to strike over new detrimental ‘bully boy’ contracts (20 Feb) – Staff at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) have voted by a large majority for strike action, Unite said today (Thursday 20 February). Unite said that its members had voted by 73 per cent to strike over the management’s arbitrary imposition of new ‘performance pay’ contracts. The union said that it would be announcing strike dates in the near future – and called for the RSPCA management to hold last-ditch talks, under the auspices of the conciliation service Acas, to avert strike action read more
Travel disruption across London escalates (20 Feb) – Workers who are the ‘eyes and ears’ of the capital will join hundreds of TfL staff taking strike action for 24 hours next week in their fight against paltry pay and cuts to holidays. The staff will walk out for 24 hours on 28 February, 27 March and 24 April. The workers are employed in TfL’s Surface Network Management Control Centre (NMCC). They control traffic flows, update the travel information service, deploy contractors to deal with accidents and manage the capital’s tunnels, including the Blackwall, Rotherthithe, and Green Man tunnels. The workers are also responsible for bus diversions and bus drivers rely on the NMCC during emergencies and traffic incidents. TfL is cutting their holidays by imposing a system of counting holidays in hours instead of days, which has the effect of slashing the workers’ holiday entitlement by five days read more
Threats to tear up workers’ rights at Scottish Borders Housing Association risks industrial unrest (18 Feb) – Unite the union has today (18 February) called on the board of Scottish Borders Housing Association (SBHA) to stop changes to long-standing agreements on pay and terms and conditions. The trade union has warned that if the changes go ahead then this will lead to an industrial action ballot involving its craft membership at the SBHA. The current dispute involves over 70 workers in property services read more
Woolwich Ferry takeover by Transport for London welcomed by Unite – The decision by Transport for London (TfL) to take over the running of the Woolwich Ferry, used by an estimated 2.6 million passengers annually, by the end of 2020 has been warmly welcomed by Unite. Unite represents 56 workers currently embroiled in a dispute with Briggs Marine Contractors Ltd which holds the contract. Today (Monday 10 February), mayor of London Sadiq Khan asked TfL to review its options for the management of the ferry ahead of current contract ending on 31 March. The transition to an in-house operation is expected to be completed by the end of the year. Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “Unite warmly welcomes the decision that will see the vital Woolwich Ferry being brought back under the control of Transport for London (TfL) by the end of the year. We have been campaigning for this contract to come back under TfL’s auspices for some time and today’s announcement is a victory for our campaign. The Briggs Marine contract has been dogged by continuing controversy and atrocious employment relations. We are glad that TfL has concluded that taking the operation and maintenance in-house would ensure a higher level of control and improve services to the thousands of Londoners that use the service every day.” The workforce is due to hold two 24 hour strikes on Friday 28 February and then on Friday 13 March in the latest dispute which 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 read more
Harrods facing disruption as security guards announce strike dates – London’s most prestigious department store Harrods is facing severe disruption later this month, after security guards and CCTV operators, who are members of Unite the UK and Ireland’s largest union, announced strike dates in their dispute over pay and unpaid work. The strikes will take place on 22, 26 and 29 February and then on 4, 7 March. As the first strike is to be held on a Saturday this will cause particular disruption as it is Harrods busiest day of trading. Last month the workers voted by 97 per cent in favour of strike action on an 84 per cent turnout. The dispute is a result of Harrods’ management imposing a below inflation pay offer on the workers, which had been decisively rejected in a consultative ballot, rather than return to the negotiating table. The dispute also concerns workers’ opposition to being required to undertake unpaid work. Before each shift the workers have to attend a separate location 15 minutes before they start work and stay behind after their shift to collect and drop off rotas, keys and DNA spray read more
Transport for London workers begin strike over pay – London faces disruption today (Friday 31 January) as essential TfL workers begin their first 24 hour strike, with further action planned over the coming months, in a fight back against a pay cut in real terms. Unite has accused TfL of botching this round of pay talks. The union is warning that unless TfL returns to the negotiating table the dispute could escalate with hundreds more TfL workers at Croydon Trams engineering, Victoria Coach Station and surface operations preparing for strike ballots. Around 300 workers employed by Dial-a-Ride and 300 TfL revenue protection inspectors, road transport enforcement officers and compliance officers will strike for 24 hours on 31 January, 28 February, 27 March and 24 April. TfL have bulldozed through a derisory 1 per cent pay increase for TfL workers which amounts to a pay cut in real terms. The workers are demanding that TfL increases pay above inflation (RPI) read more
Free parking for Hackney residents on cards when parking wardens strike over pay and safety – Hackney residents could have free parking in the borough when 40 parking wardens go on a week-long strike next month in a dispute over pay and their personal safety. Unite said today (Friday 24 January) that its civil enforcement officer (CEO) members, employed by Apcoa Parking (UK) Ltd which runs the contract on behalf of Hackney council, will strike on from 00:01 on Monday 10 February until 23:59 on Sunday 16 February. They voted by 81 per cent for strike action. A key issue is a claim for an increase to £15 an hour for the year starting in April 2020 – the parking wardens are paid the London living wage, currently £10.75 per hour. Unite is also concerned about safety of its members who have been attacked by irate motorists when doing their job in all-weathers. Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “We have had cases where our members are going out on the same rounds where they have previously been assaulted…” read more
Demonstrate to support striking Hackney parking workers! Wednesday 26th February 5.30 to 7pm outside Hackney Town Hall, Mare St E8 1EA
Heathrow baggage could disappear into a void as baggage handlers strike over pay – 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. Unite is seeking an increase in pay to ensure all workers receive the London Living Wage of £10.75 an hour and senior handlers receive a higher payment read more
Unite / BFAWU
Workers at Allied Bakeries in Belfast vote to accept improved pay offer and end industrial action read more
Support the CWU and the posties as union re-ballots in Royal Mail – 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
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
BT pensions boost thanks to CWU persistence (Feb 21) – Thousands of members in the BTRSS and BT Hybrid pension schemes are now accruing additional pension benefits thanks to the company’s belated implementation of some important CWU wins in the complex negotiations surrounding the 2018 Pension Review. These involve the company’s agreement to make a number of allowances that weren’t previously pensionable count towards pension benefits read more
Council cleaners celebrate after seeing off outsourcing threat (20 Feb) – UNISON campaigning sees Middlesbrough council drop privatisation plan. UNISON has notched up another victory preventing low-paid workers being outsourced to private firms. Thanks to campaigning and pressure by the union’s Middlesbrough local government branch and Northern region, the local council has dropped plans to hive off the jobs of 140 cleaners, who feared for their pay and pensions if they were transferred read more
Drug and alcohol rehab workers announce five days of strikes over pay – Drug and alcohol rehabilitation workers in Wigan and Leigh are to strike for five days – from Thursday 27 February until Wednesday 4 March – in a long-running dispute over pay. The drug and alcohol support workers took eleven days of strike action in 2019, but decided to postpone further action until after Christmas in the best interests of service users. In the meantime, the Addaction employees, who were employed by the NHS before Wigan council transferred their roles to London based charity Addaction, have voted unanimously to take further strike action this year. The dispute began after Addaction reneged on a promise to ensure workers’ pay kept pace with NHS employees doing similar jobs 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
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!
Prime Minister’s “zero” leadership and long-term planning undermining flood response (20 Feb) – The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has criticised the “shambles” of Boris Johnson’s flooding response, saying that he should be “ashamed” of the government’s failure to plan for floods in the long-term. Funding for fire and rescue services in England has been cut by £141.5m over the four-year local government finance settlement, 2016/17-2020/21, including a £3.2m cut to the services covering areas with severe “risk to life” flood warnings read more
Selective Action in Courts Service and Public Prosecution Service (18 Feb) – Fair Play for Civil Servants: In furtherance of the ongoing NICS Pay, Terms and Conditions Dispute the following areas will be on selective strike action as follows: Court Clerks and Assistant Court Clerks to be on selective strike on Friday 21 February 2020 read more
London march and rally marking fifth day of strike action in over 30 sixth form colleges: Thursday 27 February – National Education Union members working in 34 sixth form colleges or 16-19 academies will be taking a further day of strike action on Thursday 27 February to demand more funding for their colleges. Many will attend a rally at Parliament Square in Westminster, followed by a march to the Department for Education. A photo opportunity will be provided by an open-top bus and strikers holding sandwich boards detailing cuts to their college. The NEU is in dispute with the Secretary of State and seeking improved pay, conditions and employment through better funding for 16-19 education. There is currently an overall shortfall of at least £700 million in funding for Post 16 Education which the NEU wants to see rectified in the forthcoming Budget.
Assemble: Parliament Square SW1P 3JX
Speakers: Kevin Courtney (Joint General Secretary, NEU), Dr Mary Bousted (Joint General Secretary, NEU), Jean Evanson (NEU National Executive member for post-16) and more TBC.
Destination: Department for Education, Sanctuary Buildings, 20 Great Smith Street, SW1P 3BT. Hand-in and speeches until 15.00. More information, including a list of striking colleges, is available here
Save Our Nurseries – march to Downing Street to hand in petition. Meet at Parliament Square 4.30pm Monday March 2nd
Support these NEU strikes:-
St Bonaventure’s and St Michael’s in Newham, East London – February 25-27. Send message of support to Newham NEU secretary Louise Cuffaro [email protected]
St Bede’s Romford – February 27.
Isle of Man teachers to begin industrial action – Members of the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union will begin action short of strike action from Monday 24 February in furtherance of the Union’s dispute with the Isle of Man Government over pay, pensions and conditions of service. The action which will be taken will not disrupt pupils’ learning read more
Samira Ahmed and BBC reach settlement following tribunal (24 Feb) – Samira Ahmed and the BBC are pleased to have reached a settlement following the recent tribunal. Samira is a highly valued BBC presenter and now these matters have been concluded we all want to focus on the future. We look forward to continuing to work together to make great programmes for audiences. Neither the BBC, Samira or the NUJ will be commenting further on this case read more
Landmark legal challenge to outsourcing to benefit 3.3 million workers (20 Feb) – Outsourced security guards working at the St. George’s University today announced their intention to mount a legal challenge against the institution on the grounds of indirect race discrimination in breach of the Equality Act 2010. The workers currently receive the statutory minimum terms and conditions with respect to sick pay, annual leave allowance and employer pension contributions compared to generous university entitlements. They argue that the decision to outsource them to a private contractor on inferior pay and terms and conditions of employment than university employees amounts to indirect race discrimination. This legal challenge is the latest development in an ongoing month-long dispute between the UVW and St George’s university which has seen the security guards take strike action over the university’s refusal to hire them directly. If the challenge is successful it could lead to a pay rise for around 3.3 million of the country’s outsourced workers such as cleaners, porters and security guards who work in the public and private sector read more Please sign this UVW solidarity letter
Upcoming strike dates:-
Round 4: 24th, 25th, 26th, 27th, 28th Feb
Picket lines are from 8am at the main entrance
Book launch: ‘Couldn’t pay, wouldn’t pay, didn’t pay – the struggle against the poll tax in Kent’. Compiled by Eric Segal secretary of South East Kent Trades Union Coluncil – 7.30pm, Thursday 12th March Whitstable Labour Club, 12 Belmont Road CT5 1QP details
Sign this e-Petition: Save Royal Glamorgan A&E (from Merthyr Tydfil Trades Union Council)
There are serious concerns that a closure or partial closure of A&E services at Royal Glamorgan Hospital could be taking place very soon. This will have a significant impact on access to A&E for patients in Rhondda Cynon Taff and will also put additional pressures on A&E departments in Merthyr Tydfil, Cardiff and Bridgend. The Welsh Government should intervene and do all it can to prevent any reduction of service in the provision of A&E Services at Royal Glamorgan Hospital and do all it can to facilitate the recruitment and appointment of badly needed A&E Consultants to the health board. Unite Wales Organisers and Community Members have been at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital this week gathering signatures for a petition to save the on site 24 hour A&E department. Please also add your signatures here
THE PLAN that came from the bottom up
Film + panel Q&A
In these cinemas on 1st March
Birmingham, Midlands Art Centre / Cambridge, Arts Picturehouse
Liverpool, Picturehouse at FACT / London, Bertha Dochouse
Norwich, Cinema City / Sheffield, Showroom
Part film essay, part documentary THE PLAN tells the untold story of how a group of British weapons engineers switched to designing hybrid engines and wind turbines and were nominated for the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize. At a time when climate injustice is fanning the flames of inequality THE PLAN looks at how this group of eco-pioneering aerospace engineers took control for the sake of the planet. Their heroism has been forgotten but as constant wars and climate crisis proliferate there’s vital lessons to be learnt from their story
Premiered at the London Film Festival and nominated for the Grierson Award THE PLAN is being screened at launch events in 6 cities on 1st March followed by a UK wide tour
Watch the trailer 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)
BBC: Mossmorran – Walkout at Scottish chemical plant over working conditions – About 170 workers have staged an unofficial walkout from the Exxonmobil petrochemical plant at Mossmorran in Fife over working conditions. Union GMB said the workers, who walked out on Wednesday had “continuously raised their concerns about conditions and safety on-site”. Their employer Bilfinger said the unrest had started with other contractors on the site. The plant is currently undergoing a restart after closing down in August read more
Blacklisted t-shirts available at: https://shop.hopenothate.org.uk/component/hikashop/product/78-blacklisted-t-shirt
Nigeria Solidarity Appeal – ABBEY TROTSKY VS SUMAL FOODS LIMITED:
Drop Trumped-up Charges, Recall Sacked Workers and End Slave Conditions in Sumal
Court Case on Trumped-Up Criminal Charges comes up on March 3, 2020
An appeal for more local and international Solidarity actions and financial support!
Following the intervention of the Campaign for Democratic and Workers’ Rights (CDWR) – a campaign platform of the Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM) – in the strike action of casual workers at Sumal Foods Limited, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria, over pay and poor working conditions on October 2, 2018, Comrade Abiodun Bamigboye (Abbey Trotsky) is currently facing four different court cases.
Abbey Trotsky is the Oyo State Coordinator of the CDWR but also doubles as the acting National Chairperson of the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN).
The management of Sumal Foods, sadly in connivance of right wing/reactionary leadership of National Union of Food, Beverage and Tobacco Employee (NUFBTE), is using the police to persecute Abbey Trotsky with trumped-up criminal charges at magistrate court. Indeed, before Abbey was arraigned in court he had been arrested and detained many times by the Police and Department of State Service (DSS) – the Secret Police.
In addition to the criminal matter there are three civil matters – one at magistrate court and two at the National Industrial Court – instituted by the company and the outsourcing companies that recruit casual, insecure and poorly paid workers for Sumal Foods.
All the cases came up at different dates in January 2020. Their next adjourned dates fall between March and April 2020. Specifically the criminal case comes up on March 3, 2020.
The basis for all these numerous cases is to deter members of the CDWR particularly Abbey Trotsky from intervening in the plight of poor casual workers of Sumal Foods Limited and also to strike fear into the heart 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.
Despite the continued persecution of comrade Abbey Trotsky, members of CDWR have remained undaunted and resilient as they had launched a campaign against casualisation and indecent labour practices not only in Sumal Foods but also in other workplaces in Ibadan and its environs. Political activities are also organised on regular basis by members of CDWR to support the legal defence being handled by a number of lawyers led by Mr Adeyinka Olumide-Fusika of Citipoint Chambers pro bono. These political activities have greatly helped to deepen and strengthen the campaign against casualisation and indecent labour practices such that CDWR is gradually becoming a point of attraction to some layers of workers who are not only dissatisfied with their slave working condition but also interested in a fight back.
At the moment, over 20 workers that cut across no fewer than four different Ibadan workplaces have joined CDWR and have been actively involved in the campaign against casualization and activities often organised to support the legal defence against the persecution of comrade Abbey Trotsky. We thank all members and supporters as well as civil society and socialist organisations locally and internationally particularly members of CWI and our lawyers for all their solidarity and support which has helped to sustain the struggle this far. We equally recognise the fact that to sustain and build on this campaign will require more solidarity action and financial support both locally and internationally.
We call for immediate dropping of all trumped-up charges against Abbey Trotsky at magistrate court; withdrawal of all frivolous civil cases in the industrial courts; NUFBTE leadership must defend interest and rights of workers including casuals and end its unholy alliance with the management; reinstatement of all workers sacked because of their involvement in the struggle for better pay and conditions; and Sumal Management must end slave conditions in the company, end casualisation and respect law laws and regulations.
It is in the light of this that we call on the leadership of the three labour centres, Nigeria labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and United labour Congress (ULC) at the national and state level, industrial unions, civil society organisations and socialists locally and internationally for more solidarity actions including physical presence at the court, public statements, petitioning and picketing of Nigerian Embassies and High Commissions. These can also include financial support to support the political activities and campaigns towards the struggle on the plight of workers in Sumal Foods, Ibadan, and against casualisation, outsourcing and other anti-labour practices.
We request that sms Protest Messages should be sent to the following persons:
-Federal Ministry of Labour Oyo State Office – +2348035676740
-President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) – +2348036556600
-Commissioner of Police Oyo State – +2348038467592
-Speaker Oyo State House of Assembly – +2347032542579
-Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) Zone 11 – +2348036536581
Copies of all protest letters or messages to be sent to: [email protected] or WhatsApp – +2348033914091
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National Chair CDWR
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