The NSSN is opening up our weekly email bulletin, website and social media platforms of Facebook and twitter to provide a public forum for workers during the Coronavirus/COVID-19 crisis. We want to be a place where we can all share queries and experiences that workers are facing in their workplaces. These include reports of action taken by workers to defend themselves from their employers.
Join our new Facebook group: NSSN – defend workers’ rights under Coronavirus
You can also send the NSSN your reports and queries via our website, twitter – @NSSN_AntiCuts and email – [email protected]
We welcome the information being sent to union members concerning the spread of coronavirus, including the TUC, Unison, Prospect, Unite, RMT, PCS, ASLEF, TSSA, CWU, EIS, UCU, Mandate, NUJ, NIPSA, FBU, POA, NEU, NASUWT, BFAWU, RCN and the GMB.
But it is absolutely vital that unions retain their ability to organise and act independently in defence of their members and workers generally. This includes the right of unions to take industrial action. We are already aware of workers being forced to take unofficial action on health and safety grounds. We also believe that unions should have oversight of any government bans on protests and picketing. This is the same Tory government that tabled more new anti-union laws in December’s Queens Speech last December and cannot be trusted.
We believe that it is essential that workers are protected during this worrying period and are not impacted, whether in terms of their safety as well as their pay and employment rights. The Tory government has announced measures that if implemented would include some workers receiving 80% of their wages. However, we believe that no worker should pay the price for any spread of the virus. Any worker who is required not to attend work or is unable to do so because of childcare or transport closures should receive full pay and not be forced to take annual leave. But unions have to remain vigilant that any government payments actually happen and also covers all workers, including those in precarious employment such as zero-hour contracts and in the gig economy.
We have drafted this model motion which we’ve made into a bulletin that can be downloaded and printed off to be distributed. Feel free to use in your union and trades council, in totality or partially to highlight the issues that need to be addressed.
Keep an eye out for other Facebook and social media groups and pages that are being created. The Coronavirus Support Group for Workers has been set up on Facebook and is a useful forum. Take part in the Zoom meeting at 8pm this Thursday ‘Workplace collective action to slow coronavirus’
Follow how unions are facing up to coronavirus globally via LabourStart
USA: Sign Fight for $15 petition: Tell McDonald’s: Give your workers paid sick leave NOW
‘Health not profit’ strike wave sweeps Italy
Union Coronavirus resources
Most TUC-affiliated unions have dedicated sections or pages of their websites to coronavirus/Covid-19 advice. Here are those where such information is available without entering special member portals. We will keep updating them
BECTU Sector of Prospect
College of Podiatry
National Society for Education in Art and Design (NSEAD)
Fight victimisation of union reps
Since the new year, a whole number of union reps and members have been sacked, suspended or disciplined. This is becoming a pattern. So much for ‘all being in this together’ during the coronavirus pandemic”. This comes on the back of the Tories’ planned new anti-union laws.
The NSSN will continue to highlight every such case and build support and solidarity so that these workers and others get their jobs back. Please send a message of support to those being attacked and invite them to your union branch and trades council. Keep letting us know about any other acts of union victimisation and we’ll publicise.
Reinstate Clive Walder: the campaign continues – Unfortunately, we have to inform you that the appeal by Unite against Clive’s dismissal by National Express in Birmingham was unsuccessful. In the hearing on 5 March, the company downgraded his offence from gross misconduct to misconduct and altered the penalty from summary dismissal to dismissal with four weeks’ notice. We believe dismissal is totally disproportionate and Clive should be reinstated. Clive and his union Unite the union will shortly decide the next steps in his campaign against his sacking. Clive would like to thank all those who have expressed solidarity with him, including supporters of the National Shop Stewards Network who took part in the protest leafleting of his workplace before the appeal hearing. It was successful enough for National Express to report it to the Unite full time official. Please continue to send protest emails to [email protected]. The NSSN has produced a flyer which can be downloaded and printed off to give to National Express employees and customers in support of Clive. We are appealing to our supporters to take photos of any solidarity protests and post on social media
Support Danyal Aziz Unite – Daniel was a Unite rep at London City Airport, who was recently sacked. Labour MP Sam Tarry has tabled a Parliamentary Early Day Motion in support of Danyal. Email your local MP to get them to sign the EDM
Defend Paul Williams PCS – Stop the victimisation of senior PCS rep Paul Williams – Paul Williams has a long and proud history of defending his colleagues at the Department for Transport, and predecessor departments, for nearly 40 years but as a result of his union activities is facing compulsory redundancy even though there are vacancies at his grade read more
Support Tony Smith Unison – Tony Smith one of the leaders of the successful FCC dispute which won sick pay for nearly 2,500 workers is being victimised. charged with gross misconduct over health and safety charges, his hearing is on Thursday. Please send messages of support to Hull Trades Council c/o [email protected]
Sign the petition: Reinstate UNISON rep Peter Moorhead and stop victimising trade unionists at Alternative Futures Group (AFG)
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!
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.
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
This leaflet advertising the 2020 NSSN Conference can be downloaded and printed off
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
BREAKING NEWS!! Coronavirus Crisis – LUL & Government Must Act Now
« LUL must reduce usage now
« Government must shut down construction sites and guarantee pay of all self-employed/Gig economy workers
« Agreed enhanced cleaning plans must be put into action now
« Station staff must be told to work behind glass and only work in public areas when essential for safety reasons
« All non-essential maintenance must be cancelled. TFL must guarantee pay of all self-employed workers in its orbit
RMT will tell LUL that without these measures being agreed and implemented immediately we will be unable to advise our members that we consider it safe to come to work. We have no PPE to reduce the risk of coronavirus and we must be able to work in accordance with the government’s social distancing advice. We are committed to providing the best service we can at this difficult time but that cannot be achieved if we are unable to even implement the basic guidelines for social distancing and safe working. These points will be put to LUL at the highest level today read more
RMT Accepts 4 Year Pay Deal and will Return to Issue of Working Hours ASAP (23 Mar) – A discussion between RMT IR and H&S staff side secretaries/leads took place this morning. Following this meeting the NEC discussed LUL’s current 4-Year pay offer. The NEC has instructed the General Secretary to inform LUL that we accept the offer. London Underground has repeated that they remain committed to reviewing working hours and we will return to this issue ASAP. We will now turn all our energies into seeking to reduce the risk to members who are keeping the tube running in these exceptional times. At present overcrowding in many areas is making a mockery of social distancing and is subjecting our members to an unacceptable level of risk. We also have a battle on our hands to protect the pay of our many self-employed members in the LTRC region who face being laid off without pay. I will be putting out a bulletin on all these issues ASAP. The full decision of the NEC is reproduced here
Government nationalises losses for TOCs but will keep paying them to ‘manage’ our rail services (23 Mar) – The government is to nationalise the losses that TOCs are making due to the Coronavirus but will continue to pay the private shareholders a management fee. Full article from FT can be downloaded here. RMT will be demanding full nationalisation of the assets as well as the losses. The privatised rail industry has bled the state dry for years. Now, in this time of crisis, it has to stop read more
Sign petition: to The Mayor of London and the London Assembly – End the privatisation of cleaning at Transport for London
RAIL UNION RMT has suspended strike action on South Western Railway in good faith to allow further talks to take place 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
HMRC cleaners strike today over Living Wage (16 Mar) – Contracted out cleaners at HMRC have begun 2 weeks of strike action today in a dispute over the Living Wage. ISS staff who are employed to clean tax offices at Bootle and Liverpool will take 14 days action with colleagues in Birmingham taking 2 days. Workers are angry at ISS over poor pay and conditions and the refusal of ministers at HMRC to take the cleaning contract back in-house. The real Living Wage is £10.75 in London and £9.30 for the rest of the UK is based on the cost of living and is voluntarily paid by nearly 6,000 UK employers who believe a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay. The strike received a 97% yes vote on a 90% turnout read more
Show your support
- Donate to the strike fund
- Send messages of support to [email protected]
HMRC announces change to office closures plan (12 Mar) – HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has announced significant deferrals of the planned closures of two of its offices. The department’s office in Washington will now remain open until 2030, whilst its Bradford office will remain open until 2027. As well as the possibility of additional security for members based in the north east, this decision will mean that members based in Bradford and Shipley, whose circumstances mean they are unable to move to the Leeds regional centre, have the possibility of extending their career with the department. PCS welcomes the decision to extend the life of the two offices, as well as welcoming the fact that the department has clearly begun to recognise that its 2015 plan to cut the entire estate to just 17 offices, will be insufficient to meet HMRC’s staffing requirements going forward, and that there is clearly a need to keep the plan under review read more
Support Interserve strikers – Interserve workers at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, were on strike for the whole of February. You can support the workers 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
BREAKING NEWS!! Tower Hamlets Veolia bin dispute resolved (24 Mar) – A dispute over holiday back pay for Veolia refuse workers in Tower Hamlets has been resolved, Unite, the UK and Ireland’s largest union, said today (Tuesday 24 March 2020). Unite said that in light of the coronavirus crisis, the union and Veolia, which holds the refuse, recycling and street cleaning contract for Tower Hamlets, had made finding a solution to the dispute a ‘priority’. Following renewed negotiations, a settlement over holiday arrears was accepted yesterday by Unite’s 250 members at Veolia and staff are now working overtime to “ensure that streets are clean and rubbish is collected” read more
Hastings job losses reversed, other hospitality bosses must do likewise (Mar 21) – Unite warns government: workers must not pick up bill for pandemic. Trade union Unite, which represents hospitality workers throughout Northern Ireland, today (Saturday) welcomed the decision by Hastings Hotels to rescind the notices of termination issued to staff yesterday. The company’s move follows mounting pressure from workers and their union read more
Unite Wales reaction to Kingspan Group decision to slash pay rates by 40 per cent (20 Mar) – Workers at the Kingspan Group at Greenfield, Holywell have today been stunned by the announcement from their employer that it intends to slash pay rates by 40 per cent. Unite was given no advance notice of the decision and has condemned the decision as completely unacceptable read more
Striking Bexley Refuse Workers have agreed to postpone their industrial action after a massive victory guaranteeing full sick pay to any worker forced to isolate or take time off, a long way from the paltry offer of statutory sick pay (from Facebook 19 Mar). This concession from Serco and the council only came after rock-solid action that saw a total disruption to Serco’s efforts to break the strike. With a crisis situation rapidly developing, workers took a unanimous vote to stand shoulder to shoulder alongside NHS staff and retail staff who are keeping society together. Let it be known that when this crisis is over; we won’t tolerate going back to a regime of zero-hours contracts, poverty pay and no sick pay. Now more than ever we see the value of these workers so recently dismissed as “unskilled”. Corporations and spivs are lining up with barrows to collect state aid; the Bexley refuse workers and cleansers have shown we won’t tolerate being given scraps. These men and women are out handling potentially hazardous waste day in and day out, they are our everyday heroes. All power to them
DHL workers at JLR plants to strike over pay and conditions (17 Mar) – DHL staff working on JLR logistics contracts will strike over pay and conditions at locations across the West Midlands and North West at the end of March and beginning of April, Unite said today (Tuesday 17 March). The DHL drivers and warehouse operatives are based at JLR factories in Ellesmere Port, Evans Road and Halewood in the North West and Tyrefort, Midpoint and Hams Hall in the West Midlands. Unite members voted for strike action in a dispute over pay and other issues. These include average holiday pay rates, subcontracting issues and redundancy packages that would leave workers “cast out on inferior statutory terms in the event of cutbacks.” Three 24-hour strikes will be held across the six locations on 31 March, 1 April and 2 April with each beginning at 00.01 hours and ending at 23.59 hours read more
Unite calls off final day of St Mungo’s picket lines in response to Coronavirus crisis (17 Mar) – Unite has said that it is calling off the final day of planned picket lines and rallies tomorrow (18 March) in the St Mungo’s strike in response to the latest government Covid-19 advice and is urging members to keep safe and strike from home. The decision to call off the last day of picket lines in London, Brighton and Bristol comes after two days of strongly supported strike action in their ‘race to the bottom’ jobs row. Unite is urging the CEO Howard Sinclair and the board to take all steps to protect the health and safety of staff during the coronavirus crisis, starting with meeting the union’s demands for a fairer sickness policy; ending the need for staff to call two senior staff members to report an absence, as well as with issuing staff with adequate protective equipment. (PPE). Unite regional officer, Tabusam Ahmed said: “Our priority has always been the safety of our members and the very clients they serve day in and out…” read more
Newham highway operatives to be balloted in grading dispute – Newham council, which has been dogged by industrial disputes recently, faces another one – this time over the failure to pay highway maintenance staff the rate for the job. Unite said that its highway members at Newham council would be balloted for strike action from Friday (20 March). The ballot closes on 3 April. Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “The issue is that members have not been properly graded and, as a result, have not been properly paid. We estimate individuals have lost £8,000-a-year over a period of time. Negotiations with management have dragged on for months and now our members have lost patience with this foot-dragging local authority.” Read more
Heathrow braced for ‘Easter holiday chaos’ after baggage and freight handling strikes set – Heathrow airport is braced for ‘Easter holiday chaos’ following the announcement of strikes over a pay dispute and attempts at ‘union-busting’ at ground handling firm Vanderlande, Unite said today (Tuesday 3 March). The strikes, which will take place over six days between 14 March and 9 April, could leave thousands of passengers without their baggage and potentially impact air travel, as well as affecting International Airline Group (IAG) freight services. Unite represents around 80 workers at Vanderlande, which operates the Terminal Three luggage belt as well as transporting passenger baggage to and from the terminal, where planes from One World Alliance, Virgin Atlantic and Emirates dock read more
Black hole looming for Heathrow luggage as baggage specialists strike throughout March – Unite, the UK and Ireland’s largest union, is warning passengers who are separated from their luggage at Heathrow next month, that they are unlikely to be reunited with it, as specialist baggage handlers take fresh strike action over pay. The workers who are employed by Global Baggage Solutions Ltd will begin strike action at 00:01 on Monday 2 March until 23:59 on Monday 9 March. There will be two further eight day periods of strike action beginning on Saturday 14 March until Saturday 21 March and Thursday 26 March until Thursday 2 April. The workers play a crucial role in locating and repatriating lost baggage with worried customers read more
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
TfL workers step-up strike action across the capital – Hundreds of workers employed by Transport for London will stage a 24-hour walkout today (Friday 28 February) to fight back against cuts to pay and holidays. 80 workers employed in TfL’s control centre who are the ‘eyes and ears’ of the capital will join the series of strikes. 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 (see note to editors). 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 for a second time over the imposition of a real terms pay cut. Further action is planned on 27 March and 24 April read more
Royal Mail workers voted 94.5% in re-ballot. These are video updates from CWU GS Dave Ward and DGS Postal Terry Pullinger
CWU demand Royal Mail implement health & safety measures – see statement here
Dunfermline postal workers walked out last Saturday over health & safety
Outrage at BT for continuing with compulsory redundancies in the time of coronavirus (Mar 19) – The CWU has expressed its shock and disbelief at BT Enterprise’s refusal to lift the threat of compulsory redundancies at a time when the fast-escalating coronavirus crisis looks set to test the country at large – and inevitably BT Group as a whole – to the limit. On Monday morning – well before the monumental threat posed by Covid 19 was outlined in stark terms by the Prime Minister in the first of his daily emergency broadcasts to the nation – the union wrote to the business formally requesting it to reconsider the wisdom of placing loyal workers in scope for compulsory redundancy at a time when urgent contingency planning is taking place over how to maintain critical staffing levels read more
Grassroots anger at BT Enterprise erupts into protest in Sevenoaks (Mar 17) – As tensions continue to rise at BT Enterprise over the division’s apparent determination to become the first part of BT to make compulsory redundancies amongst team member grades, anger amongst one of the largest groups of members to be placed ‘at risk’ erupted into a public show of defiance last Thursday read more
BREAKING NEWS!! Wilko scraps plan to slash sick pay following GMB campaign (24 Mar) – Wilko has scrapped a plan to slash sick pay for tens of thousands of workers after a GMB campaign. The company had planned to cut sick pay entitlement for every member of staff in stores and distribution centres, enforcing no company sick pay after the first occasion of sickness and no sick pay for anyone who had been at the company for less than a year. The company now acknowledges that, in the light of the COVID-19 outbreak, ‘now is not the time’ to slash sick pay for tens of thousands of workers read more
GMB demands government halt plans to shut A&Es and ICUs (23 Mar) – At a time when the nation is facing its worst crisis since WW2, the Government wants to downgrade major acute hospitals says GMB Union. GMB, the union for NHS staff, is demanding plans to close A&E and Intensive Care Units at two South West London hospitals are halted. The Sutton, Merton and Surrey Downs Clinical Commissioning Groups are engaged in a public consultation with a view to downgrading Epsom and St Helier Hospitals in South West London and Surrey. Under the plans, A&E and Intensive Care Units, as well as other acute services, will be removed from Epsom and St Helier Hospitals read more
Lewisham cleaner still without pay one week on (19 Mar) – Lewisham Hospital cleaners still haven’t been paid a week after they walked out over non-payment of wages. Private company ISS blames ongoing administrative errors for the crisis. Worried cleaners are also being told by the company PPE is to be worn only if advised by NHS staff. Some have announced that are going home because they believe the risks of working in a hospital are too high and the pay is too low read more
Sign petition: Requisition private hospital beds to help NHS with coronavirus
COVID-19: Fire and rescue services lose hundreds of firefighters to self-isolation, as union calls for priority testing (20 Mar) – Fire and rescue service personnel must receive priority testing and vaccination for coronavirus, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has said after some brigades reported losing hundreds of staff to self-isolation. In a letter to ministers in Westminster and the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the FBU has said that without testing, firefighters and control staff could be self-isolating unnecessarily, when they could be on hand to protect the public. The union also says that testing could help reduce the risk of frontline staff transmitting the infection to vulnerable members of the public. London Fire Brigade has at least 280 personnel in isolation, 5% of its overall staff; West Midlands Fire Service, which covers Birmingham, has 105 staff in self-isolation, 5.5%; Scottish Fire and Rescue Service has 285 staff in isolation, 3.75%; Essex County Fire and Rescue Service has 61 staff in isolation or 4% read more
Support the Wetherspoons workers – 40,000 laid-off workers have been told that they will only be paid when they receive the government grant. This could be at the end of April! See their statement here
TUC courses at the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CoNEL) at the Tottenham Campus
Please see here, our course flyers for TUC courses starting in April and September 2020. Please note that there are two new Certificate courses that we have developed entitled Health & Safety Essentials Certificate and Equality Certificate. The Trade Union Education Department of the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CoNEL) at the Tottenham Campus is delivering these courses. If you have any issues applying online, please give us a call on 020 8442 3075 with your email address and we can send you an application form. It would be appreciated if you could also speak to your branch secretary or other branch officers and reps to promote these courses. Many thanks colleague.
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
Turkey: Fight for a free media (from Solidarity with the People of Turkey)
It’s all about coronavirus these days but certain business continues as usual in Turkey. After the recent arrests, a group of journalists got together and launched an initiative, called “Haberin Var mi?”, or “Have You Heard?”, to support dozens of colleagues in jail. Needless to repeat, we very much appreciate and value your support in spreading the word about our struggle for free media in Turkey.
You’re all kindly invited to join us and share the video below on Monday with the hashtags #HaberinVarMı #HaveYouHeard with suggested text to follow;
– In Turkey, the number of journalists under arrest keep rising. Putting journalists behind bars does not prevent the truth from becoming public. #HaberinVarMı #HaveYouHeard
– Regardless of the publications they work for or their political affiliations, we will, altogether, break through the iron doors keeping these journalists jailed. #HaberinVarMı #HaveYouHeard
– In Turkey, the number of journalists under arrest keep rising. Arbitrary arrests hurt people’s trust in justice and violate human rights.
For those who would like to retweet, simply adding hashtags, the Twitter accounts to follow are; @HVMinsiyatifi and @TRFreePress
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
Please Donate to CDWR Account:
Fortress Books Nigeria
For donations from outside Nigeria please email the CDWR on [email protected] or contact local CDWR supporters to arrange payment.
National Chair CDWR
Email: [email protected]
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
FACEBOOK NSSN GROUP or STOP The CUTS Likes page
ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE