NSSN 498: Victory! Student protests force Tory A-Levels U-turn

The NSSN salutes the students whose protests around the country have forced the Tory government to retreat. They were rightly furious that through no fault of their own because of the pandemic, many had their A Level results downgraded, threatening their futures. The system that was being used appeared to be to the disadvantage of students from working-class backgrounds.

Photo courtesy of Socialist Students
Photo courtesy of Young Socialists


If necessary, university places must be found for all those who need them. But this crisis has lifted the lid on how unfair and class-ridden education is. The NSSN has always fought against tuition fees and demands that they are abolished and grants restored as a big step to eliminating student debt.

Young people are facing limited employment and income prospects as redundancies soar and greedy bosses attack wages. But the events of the last few days have shown that youth are prepared to fight for a decent future. A new generation of young workers can be attracted into the unions to organise them against exploitative bosses and re-energise our movement.

The unions need to take inspiration from this victory. The weaknesses of Johnson’s Tory government have been shown yet again. Already, teachers and school staff fought the unsafe premature schools return, winning at least a partial victory. NHS and care workers are fighting for a 15% pay rise. We call for a united campaign of students, young workers and the whole union movement to fight for a real future.

Student protests:-

Wednesday 19 August – 1pm Parliament Square

Saturday 22 August – 1pm Marble Arch

NEU: Government U-Turn on Exams (17 Aug)

NEU Cymru welcomes use of assessed grades in Wales (17 Aug)

NASUWT comments on exam grades U-turn (17 Aug)

EIS: Decision to Uphold Teachers’ Professional Judgement is very Welcome (11 Aug))

Westminster must follow Scottish lead on downgraded exam results, says UCU (11 Aug)



Support the NHS pay protests

On August 8th, there were about 40 protests around the country as workers in the NHS and care sector workers demand an immediate 15% pay rise that starts to close the income gap caused by a decade of pay freezes. Please join the protests that are taking place. Details of some of these can be found here in the Nurses and Midwives say NO! to Public Sector pay inequality Facebook group and on the Keep Our NHS Public website. Also visit the website of Health Campaigns Together.  

Upcoming protests:-

St Thomas’s Hospital London – 5pm Wednesday 26th August 

We support the call of many health workers for industrial action ballots, co-ordinated across all the health unions and linking up with all other workers in public services. We are confident that this would be supported by workers in the private sector and all those who benefit from health and social care, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic where so many staff put their lives on the line.


NSSN TUC Rally – 1pm Sunday September 13th Facebook event

The National Shop Stewards Network is holding its annual rally at the time of the TUC Congress, which because of the COVID-19 pandemic has been truncated. This year’s NSSN event will be virtual but it has never been more important given the threat to workers’ lives and their jobs and income and the fighting programme needed from the TUC and the unions. We will hear from leading members of fighting unions alongside members and reps who are involved in struggles to ensure safe workplaces and defend jobs from the growing threat of redundancies and closures.

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 822 0003 8334

Passcode: 739809

Dial by your location

+44 203 051 2874 United Kingdom

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Meeting ID: 822 0003 8334

Passcode: 739809

Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/k17EfmHln

Join by Skype for Business




Sign petition: To Welsh Government – For an immediate 10% pay rise for health, care and key workers. Sponsored by Cardiff County Trades Union Council, Swansea Trades Council, Caerphilly Trades Council

Sign Waltham Forest Trades Union Council petition to Barts NHS Trust: for adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) for all NHS staff particularly at Whipps Cross hospital.


The NSSN is continuing to report on how workers are organising during the coronavirus pandemic

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.

You can read about many of these actions in our weekly bulletin and out social media groups, especially our 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 Accord, Advance, AEP, AFA-CWA, ASLEF, BDA, BECTU Sector of Prospect, BFAWU, BOS-TU, College of Podiatry, Community, CSP, EIS, Equity, FBU, FDA, GMB, HCSA, MU, NAHT, NASUWT, National Society for Education in Art and Design (NSEAD), Nautilus International, NEU, NGSU, NUJ, PFA, Prospect, RCM, SoR, TSSA, TUC, UCU, UNISON, Unite, URTU, USDAW, WGGB and the RCN

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 have announced measures that if implemented would include some workers receive 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.


NSSN news

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

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 2019 Rally video



Union News


RMT demands action from LUL over rising levels of violent assaults after another horrific incident at Warren Street on Friday (17 Aug) – TUBE UNION RMT has demanded action from tube bosses over rising levels of violent assaults after another horrific incident at Warren Street Station on Friday ‎‎afternoon. The incident, which included severe levels of physical violence and the suspect forcing his way into the control room and continuing his assault, is the latest in a line of similar violent acts against tube workers read more

RMT marks anniversary of the breaking of the Colour Bar at Euston Station (15 Aug) – On the 54th anniversary of the union defeating the colour bar at Euston station rail union RMT said today that the campaign against racism remains an absolute priority. ‎On August 15 1966 the colour bar at Euston station was finally defeated when West Indian guard Asquith Xavier was allowed to start work after initially being refused a job. British Railways had announced, after negotiations with local leaders of the National Union of Railwaymen, that no grade would in future be closed on racial grounds anywhere in the London division. The Euston colour bar was first made public by Mr James Prendergast, an NUR official at Marylebone. Mr Xavier, one of his members and an experienced guard, received a letter telling him that he had been rejected for a job at Euston because of the ban on coloured men read more

RMT tribute to our member Donald Dinnie who lost his life along with the driver and one passenger in the Stonehaven derailment (13 Aug) – Senior Assistant General Secretary Mick Lynch said; “On behalf of the union I want to send condolences, support and solidarity to Donald Dinnie’s family‎, friends and colleagues. It is absolutely clear that he was much loved and highly respected by all who knew him and his death is a tragedy that has shocked our entire industry. We share the grief of those who were close to Donald…” read more

RMT further reaction to Stonehaven derailment and fatalities

RMT launches global on-line petition to halt jobs carnage at Trump’s Turnberry resort

Sign petition: to The Mayor of London and the London Assembly – End the privatisation of cleaning at Transport for London

Please Support RMT Members With No Wages! – RMT London Transport Region Zero Hours & Self-Employed members need our Solidarity Now! Many of our regions self-employed members and those on zero hours have not any had wages for 2 months since March. They have been abandoned by London Underground, TfL, the London Mayor and their agency employers. They MUST NOT be abandoned by us too; their RMT sisters and brothers! The RMT London Transport Regional Council and LU Engineering RMT branch are calling out to all branches, members and friends to dig deep and give meaningful solidarity to our hard pressed members facing poverty and possibly eviction from their homes. To help support by donating to the fund or to ask after support for yourself, please email: [email protected]  read more

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



Stonehaven Derailment – Joint Family Fund (14 Aug) – The RMT & ASLEF are working together to support the families of all those affected by the disaster at just south of Stonehaven on Wednesday the 12th of August 2020, where sadly driver Brett McCullough, conductor Donald Dinnie & passenger Chris Stuchbury were tragically killed.  A fund has been set up if members or branches wish to donate.  Bank account details are as follows:-

RMT – S/C 60-83-01   A/C No 33700050

ASLEF – S/C 60-83-01   A/C No 45024685

Alternatively cheques can be sent to Brian Woods, Aberdeen branch secretary made out to Aberdeen Aslef branch 003 at 4 Sumerhill Crescent, Aberdeen, AB15 6ED. All funds will be combined and equally distributed and we wish to thank Alan Rodgers of Thomson Solicitors for agreeing to assist us by verifying amounts read more

Tribute Paid to Brett McCullough (12 Aug) – Kevin Lindsay, ASLEF’s organiser in Scotland, today paid tribute to Brett McCullough, the train driver who died in the rail crash at Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, yesterday [Wednesday 12 August]. He said: ‘The tragic accident at Stonehaven has affected everyone in the railway family, but especially the family and friends of the three people who died, and the six people who were injured.’ Brett McCullough, 45, who was married with three children, and worked out of Aberdeen depot, lived not far from the scene of yesterday’s crash read more

Statement on Stonehaven Incident



Letters of condolence to ASLEF and RMT after Stonehaven (13 Aug) – Today TSSA General Secretary Manuel Cortes wrote to RMT and ASLEF to express our sadness, grief and solidarity at the loss of their members at the train derailment at Stonehaven.  You can read the letters here

TSSA Responds to the train derailment at Stonehaven

Amey withholding homeworker backpay! (12 Aug) – Amey homeworkers who have received confirmation that they will receive an allowance may need to take action to recover promised backpay. VIew our pdf circular via https://bit.ly/3fUEc3M or download from Amey withholding homeworker backpay! After months of frustrating delays, many homeworkers have received letters acknowledging that they are entitled to the Amey homeworking allowance, as negotiated with our union at the start of the year. The collective agreement included backpay from 1 March 2019 with an allowance of £25 per month. This increased to £25.50 per month from 1 March 2020 because of the 2% negotiated increase to pay and allowances read more

TSSA “seriously concerned” over Pontypridd relocation (11 Aug) – Transport union TSSA has expressed serious concerns over the imminent move of HQ staff employed by both Transport for Wales and its private train operator KeolisAmey from Cardiff to Pontypridd read more



Unite council workers reject ‘insulting £1.83 a day poverty pay’ offer (17 Aug) – About 100,000 council workers, members of Unite the union, have overwhelmingly rejected in a consultative ballot a pay and conditions offer for 2020/1 which amounts to just £1.83 a day. But Unite acknowledges the likely scenario is there will now be a de facto imposition of the 2.75 per cent offer made by the Local Government Employers (LGE) on its local authority members in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Unite vowed to continue the campaign for an end to poverty pay within local government and will press for local pay deals to address the widespread long hours’ culture endemic across local government read more

Government must secure continuity of care provision for residents at Sisters of Charity facilities (Aug 16) – Unite the union joins SIPTU, the INMO and Forsa trade unions in demanding the Health Service Executive protect services for residents and families. Staff who have stood heroically on frontline in the fight against Covid now face losing their jobs without fair redundancy read more

Treatment of Jersey Swissport staff facing 70 per cent redundancies ‘scandalous’ (14 Aug) – The treatment of Jersey Swissport staff facing 70 per cent redundancies by both the company and the island’s government is ‘scandalous’, Unite said today (Friday 14 August). The union said cargo and baggage handling firm Swissport is planning to make 70 out of its 101 staff redundant as the Jersey employment support scheme draws to a close at the end of August read more

Stop the BA Betrayal! – This groundswell has been mobilised by reps and the campaign #BAbetrayal – a ‘crisis leverage campaign, which is part of Unite’s Leverage strategy. ‘Crisis leverage’ applies many of the same principles and takes a similarly robust, muscular approach but in a much more streamlined, nimble way. In a crisis like the current coronavirus pandemic, with a company behaving like British Airways, we have to move fast and to scale. Find out more and support the #BAbetrayal campaign by Joining the #BAbetrayal Facebook campaign and follow the @BAbetrayal campaign on Twitter. Sign the petition today

Sign this petition: Extend furlough scheme for the UK Aviation sector to help stop redundancies

Sign this petition: Reinstatement of Blue Handling employees laid off due to COVID-19 and placed on Furlough

Drax power station workers holding strike ballot over broken ‘no redundancy’ pledge (14 Aug) – Workers at the Drax power station in north Yorkshire were starting to vote this week in a ballot for strike action over 230 proposed redundancies, Unite said today (Friday 14 August). Unite said that when the pay deal was hammered out last year, it was agreed verbally that there would be no compulsory redundancies amongst the 600-strong workforce. The union said that the company has now backtracked on that verbal undertaking read more

Manchester bus workers to hold consultative ballot on industrial action, as rep suspended for carrying out trade union duties (13 Aug) – About 500 Manchester bus drivers will hold a consultative ballot on whether they want to take industrial action after a senior Unite rep at bus company Go North West Limited was suspended for carrying out legitimate trade union activities. Unite said that the ballot follows the suspension of the rep, who is also a Unite branch chair, as the union highlighted plans to reduce the wages of 500 Manchester bus drivers by an estimated £2,000-a-year. The company has attempted to railroad changes to the terms and conditions of the bus drivers – while 80 per cent of the drivers, including all of the Unite reps except for the senior rep, were furloughed – via the offer of a one-off payment of £5,000. Unite, however, says that within three years its members would be worse off, if the plan were allowed to go-ahead. Unite said that the suspension was sanctioned by Go North West Limited managing director Nigel Featham. The union has called for the senior rep’s immediate reinstatement read more

Sign this petition: Please sign and share: Extend the bereaved family payment to UK bus workers now

Industrial action in prospect at Riverside (13 Aug) – Unite members in Riverside Housing call centres are to consider industrial action. Housing workers in LE1111 branch face many similar issues and the branch sends solidarity to Unite members at Riverside. The prospect of industrial action is on the cards at the Liverpool-based Riverside Housing Association over detrimental shift pattern changes for 100 customer service staff. Unite has fired a warning shot across the bosses’ bows after its members at the three call centres – Carlisle, Liverpool and Irvine (Ayrshire) – overwhelmingly rejected the proposals read more on Unite LE/1111 housing workers branch website

Shift pattern changes at Liverpool housing association prompts prospect of industrial action, warns Unite (13 Aug) – The prospect of industrial action is on the cards at the Liverpool-based Riverside Housing Association over detrimental shift pattern changes for 100 customer service staff. Unite fired a warning shot across the bosses’ bows after its members at the three call centres – Carlisle, Liverpool and Irvine (Ayrshire) – overwhelmingly rejected the proposals. The biggest change is the introduction of a flexibility clause that would mean that with 30 days’ notice an employee, who mostly works morning and early afternoon, could be told to start at 14.00 and finish after 21.00. The management also wants to alter the number of hours worked from between 16 to 35 hours-a-week, again, with 30 days warning – which could mean a loss of income for some workers read more

Bakkavor commits to full pay for self-isolating Newark workers following Unite pressure (12 Aug) – Bakkavor has committed to paying workers who need to self-isolate at its Newark dessert factory, where there has been a recent outbreak of coronavirus, their full basic wage following pressure from Unite. Previously workers at the Nottinghamshire factory, where Unite has more than 150 members, were only paid statutory sick pay (SSP) of £95.85 a week. However Bakkavor will now make up the difference so that staff who need to self-isolate will receive their full basic wage for the two weeks they are off work read more

MTVHA – Stop the Sackings! Sign petition: To: Geeta Nanda, Chief Executive Officer, Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing Association – Please cease all compulsory redundancies during the recruitment freeze caused by Coronavirus restrictions which would make it impossible for anyone to find alternative employment read more from Unite Housing Workers branch

Support Westex Carpets staff strike – 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




ISS strike enters third week (18 Aug) – The month long strike by PCS members who clean HMRC’s Merseyside offices is going strong, with members in Birmingham set to join in on week four. Members are in dispute with their employer ISS over low pay and poor working conditions. PCS is demanding a real living wage, equity over conditions with in-house civil servants, including sick pay, and guarantees on job security should their offices close in line with HMRC plans. The month long strike was called in response to HMRC refusing to fund a settlement despite ISS saying they were willing to settle if the money was provided. HMRC chief executive Jim Harra has said the department will not pay cleaners a living wage as it doesn’t even provide it for all of its own staff. Cleaners in Birmingham joined the long running campaign with two days of strike action in March before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. They are now taking a further week from 24 August in order to see out the month with their fellow workers in Merseyside. Solidarity has been strong during the strike, with messages of support from across the country and lots of donations to the strike fund, including some union branches pledging as much as £400 and £500. The strikers extend their thanks for all the support they have received. Read more in Justice for HMRC Cleaners Facebook page

How you can support the campaign

  • Write to HMRC chief executive Jim Harra using the e-action
  • Donate to the strike fund: account name: PCS Liverpool/Bootle Campaign Account, sort code: 60-83-01, account number: 20415772
  • Send messages of support to [email protected]

Support the Tate strike: Despite huge PCS ballot result Tate Enterprises confirms 313 redundancies (14 Aug) – PCS received final confirmation this week that Tate Enterprises will continue with its plans to make more than 300 staff redundant and in response our members begin strike action from Tuesday (18). Despite the strength of feeling from staff, demonstrated by our overwhelming ballot result, the company has not returned to the table, and the Tate has not provided any additional money in support of its trading arm. This comes as a bitter blow to members who watched the Tate light up in red in support of jobs across the arts sector, seemingly oblivious to the irony of such a gesture, from one of the richest art institutions in the country, who is making 313 of its own staff redundant. We have been clear in our demands to the employer:

  • 10% of the expected £7mililion government support to be invested in Tate Commerce
  • No redundancies, while senior staff are earning in excess of £100,000 salaries.
  • If the bailout money is not enough, the Tate must stand with PCS in demanding the government does more.
NSSN supporting PCS Tate Modern strike Aug 18
NSSN supporting PCS Tate Modern strike Aug 18

Members are striking in defence of their jobs starting on Tuesday (18). With strike days scheduled on the 18, 19, 21 and 22 August and then indefinitely from 24 August onwards. Picket lines will begin at 9.30am each day. We are asking supporters to join our striking members in person, we ask that you wear a facemask (if you can), and remain socially distanced.

Timetable of action:

18 August

Picket lines: 9.30am Tate Britain and Tate Modern

Protest: 11am Tate Modern (Turbine entrance)

21 August

Picket lines: 9.30am Tate Britain and Tate Modern

Protest: 11am Tate Britain (Atterbury Street)

22 August

Picket lines: 9.30am Tate Britain and Tate Modern

Protest: 11am Tate Modern (Turbine entrance)

As well as joining us for our days of action we are also asking for donations to our strike fund, to support our members taking action read more

More than 41000 have signed PCS pay petition (14 Aug) – More than 41,000 people have now signed the PCS petition for fair pay less than 4 weeks after it was launched and we now want all members and supporters to sign and share it so we reach pass 60,000 by bank holiday Monday (31). Thanks to everyone who has signed and shared our petition for fair pay for UK government workers, your support means a lot. But we need to keep up the pressure so we can force a parliamentary debate when MPs return after their summer break, so please urge family, friends, colleagues and politicians to sign and share our petition read more

PCS consultative ballot of jobcentre and Universal Credit workers read more

PCS to launch ballot as Southbank Centre confirms cuts to redundancy pay for hundreds of staff read more

Please sign this PCS petition to Save Ealing Tax Officewe ask that you sign this eaction to the Chancellor calling on him to intervene urgently, to halt the office closures and redundancies, and consult fully with the union and work to retain the experience and vital knowledge contained within Ealing Tax Office. Support our call to SAVE JOBS, SAVE SERVICES and STOP THE CLOSURES

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:



NIPSA Responds to DE Sham Consultation on Reopening of Schools Guidance (12 Aug) – NIPSA the largest of the non-teaching trade unions representing over 7,000 workers responds to the decision by Education Minister Peter Weir to reopen schools without restrictions read more



Victrex restructure ‘hammer blow’ to the North West (14 Aug) – World-leading Polymer producer, Victrex has announced its intention to cut 79 jobs in another devastating blow to UK manufacturing. Staff and the union were informed yesterday (13th August) in the week where it was confirmed that the UK economy has plunged into the worst recession on record. The firm opened its consultation with staff yesterday, with 79 redundancies expected across operations at its Cleveleys HQ by October 2020 read more

‘Completely Unacceptable’ as RFL & super league leave Toronto players in the dark (13 Aug) – GMB, the Union for Rugby League, has accused the RFL and Super league of leaving Toronto Wolfpack players in dark over the possible takeover of the Canadian based franchise. The Union and players are yet to hear any concrete details over the takeover of the club, meanwhile the players families have been struggling without wages for three months read more

GMB to ballot 10,000 British Gas and PH Jones members on industrial action – Members have said they want an insurance policy too now Centrica has threatened them with fire and rehire says GMB. GMB, the energy union, is balloting 10,000 British Gas and PH Jones members on whether they would consider taking industrial action after the company threatened to hire and fire. The consultative postal ballot opens today [August 3, 2020] and closes on August 17, 2020. On June 11, British Gas owners Centrica announced a plan to make another 5,000 staff redundant and make changes to pay and terms and conditions that will have a detrimental effect for most of the 20,000 workers read more



Protest: No more cuts or job losses protest – Nottingham City Council (Hosted by Unite East Midlands and Nottingham City Unison): 5.30pm Wednesday August 19th Old Market Square, Nottingham Facebook event

Public services need more than just applause! Join the fight back – No more cuts or job losses protest.

**The protest will be socially distanced and stewarded. Please wear a face mask if possible.**

Nottingham City Council faces a toxic mix of ongoing government underfunding, increased spending and loss of income during Covid, and a disastrous policy of commercialisation. Instead of mounting a public campaign calling on all underfunded councils not to pass on cuts, Nottingham City Council plans to pass on cuts to the workforce and local communities. This includes:

– Up to 650 jobs cuts

– Closure of an adult day centre

– Closure of Bulwell Golf Course

– Cuts to library and play services




Please bring banners and whistles! Sign the Petition here

UNISON calls for ‘sustainable and sufficient’ university funding (13 Aug) – UNISON today called on the government to properly support universities, staff and prospective students, as admissions departments face the chaos created by the handling of the exam situation throughout the UK read more

Salford care workers, Mayor and MP hold demonstration outside care home as care providers refuse to protect care workers during the pandemic (13 Aug) – Salford City UNISON held a socially distanced demonstration outside Beechfield Lodge care home in Salford yesterday (Wednesday). Local care workers, Salford City Mayor Paul Dennett and Rebecca Long-Bailey MP attended the action, which aimed to put pressure on Salford care providers to protect care workers, residents and the local community from COVID-19 read more

Support the next Tower Hamlets Unison strike on August 13/14/17 – The NSSN sends our solidarity to Unison members who are striking against attacks on their terms and conditions. is an outrage that a Labour council is using the worst methods of private sector bosses to impose detrimental changes. We also salute the binworkers, mainly in Unite, who refused to cross picket lines. They have recently been on strike themselves against their former employer Veolia before being brought back in-house

Read & Share: Dave Prentis’ letter to John Biggs regarding Tower Rewards

Read more here and on Tower Hamlets UNISON Facebook page and follow @UNISON_TwrHmlts on twitter



Dangerous understaffing left Surrey short of fire engines during wildfires (12 Aug) – Fire service took 25 minutes to reach bungalow fire with person reported inside. Minimum safe number of fire engines missed during weekend. Firefighters in Surrey have warned that it is ‘only a matter of time until lives are lost’ after a shortage of firefighters left Surrey Fire and Rescue Service with just one fire engine to cover the entire county, as wildfires tore across the county. The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has called it a “stark warning” that understaffing can put residents and firefighters at risk. Up to six fire engines were unavailable in Surrey at any one time over the weekend because of a lack of firefighter crews. The brigade did not meet its minimum safe fire engine availability threshold on Friday or Saturday, leaving dangerously low levels of fire cover for most of the weekend. Figures for Sunday are not currently available read more



Don’t betray loyal key workers, CWU urges BT Technology boss in damning open letter (18 Aug) – An urgent appeal has been issued to the boss of BT Technology to intervene in an increasing contentious row over the business’s current refusal to meaningfully engage with the CWU over ways the union believes staff surpluses could be addressed without the need for compulsory redundancies read more

CWU to Openreach bosses: ‘Don’t endanger our members’ (Aug 13) –                      Openreach management are being issued a stern warning not to “step over the line” as the company moves to invoke Contractual Overtime on the workforce read more

Contract extensions agreed in Royal Mail CE (Aug 11) – Fixed-term contract workers in four major Royal Mail Customer Experience sites will have their employment extended until the end of February next year, following negotiations between the CWU and the business read more



Watchdog to quiz BBC on cuts to regional news (17 Aug) – The broadcasting watchdog Ofcom has confirmed it will be requiring the BBC to prove its proposed cuts in news and current affairs will allow it to carry out its legal remit as a public service broadcaster read more

NUJ announces strike dates at Bullivant Media (11 Aug) – NUJ members working at Bullivant Media have announced two 48-hour strikes in response to up to five compulsory redundancies. The union has formally notified the company that the action is planned to take place on Tuesday 25 August until Wednesday 26 August. The second date for action is Tuesday 1 September until Wednesday 2 September. The union is calling on the Bullivant family to put a stop to the compulsory redundancies and resolve the dispute. Things you can do to support the strike –

  • The NUJ is urging media workers, branches, chapels and other trade unionists to send messages of support and solidarity to the chapel via email: [email protected]
  • The union is also calling for financial support for the strikers as many of those involved are paid just over the national minimum wage. Supporters can donate to the strike hardship fund:

Sort code – 60-83-01   Account number – 20049274   Account name:        NUJ Manchester. Please label the donation as ‘Bullivant strike’

Supporters of the strike can send polite messages to the company’s managing director Chris Bullivant Jr at [email protected] and fellow director Pat Bullivant at [email protected]



Unions call on Parliament to ‘step up to the plate’ on protecting staff (18 Aug) – The joint trade unions in Parliament (Prospect/FDA/PCS) have written to the Speaker of the House of Commons, Lindsay Hoyle MP, about wide ranging concerns about the way Parliament is addressing reports that the sitting MP accused of rape would be free to return to Parliament when it returns in September read more

Union speaks out on reported changes at Public Health England (17 Aug) – Prospect has spoken out on behalf of members working at Public Health England. Leaked media reports have suggested the agency is set to re restructured or abolished read more

Funding for NTS welcome – we will continue to do all we can to assist those facing redundancy (16 Aug) – Prospect has responded news of a Scottish Government support package for the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) read more



M&S staff shocked by 7,000 more job losses – Usdaw calls for urgent talks and the Government to help save the high street (18 Aug) – Shopworkers’ trade union Usdaw has renewed its call for recognition as the trade union for Marks & Spencer staff after the company today announced 7,000 job losses across the business. The union also urges the Government to intervene to help save the high street read more

Debenhams crisis deepens – Usdaw again calls for urgent talks and for the staff to be treated with dignity (17 Aug) – Shopworkers’ trade union Usdaw is again calling for urgent talks with Debenhams’ administrators after 2,500 shop and warehouse jobs were axed last week and Hilco Capital has been appointed to look at options around liquidation. The union urges the company to engage with Usdaw and to treat the staff with dignity and respect at this very difficult time read more

Sign the USDAW petition: Prevent Longer Sunday Opening


Protest: Debenhams Workers Against Redundancies – outside Debenhams, Manchester Market Steeet M60 1TA 3pm on Saturday August 22nd Facebook event



Support striking Debenhams Workers: Email messages of support to Mandate via [email protected]

Debenhams Workers: THE FIGHT CONTINUES – Picket KPMG Careers Ireland from 11am Tuesday August 18th 1 Stokes Place, St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2 Facebook event



VICTORY ALERT📢 Union busting boss caught out on tape and held to account in court! Warehouse worker and UVW member reinstated! (17 Aug) – We have just won interim relief for our member Alejandro, a migrant from Colombia who worked as warehouse worker behind New Covent Garden Market in Vauxhall until he was sacked by his employer Premier Fruits – “the largest independent wholesaler of fruit & veg in the UK”- after he raised grievances through UVW complaining about an attempt to cut his pay by 25% and a lack of PPE and general H&S. Now we’ve won interim relief he will not only be immediately reinstated with full back pay but will also get 100% of his pay moving forward rather than the 75% his boss tried to force him to accept before sacking him, and which his boss did force all his colleagues to accept. The boss of Premier Fruits was caught on tape saying “I will not be dictated to by a union”. Well, when it comes to UVW you will be if you come after our members. DO NOT MESS WITH UVW! United Voices of the World website and Facebook

“Thanks for the claps, but we’re still paid poverty wages” – UVW care home members take a stand (Aug 11) – Carers and cleaners at a nursing home in Golders Green say clapping is not enough and neither is the £8.72 and £9.10 per hour they receive. The workers at Service to the Aged (SAGE), the majority long-serving and migrants, have today demanded that bosses negotiate with their union, United Voices of the World (UVW), and have filed an application for statutory recognition with the Central Arbitration Committee, (CAC) read more



From twitter (Aug 14) @UberEats drivers in Cwmbran & Pontypool are on strike today demanding an end to the low fee boosts at peak order times. Show them some support by RT-ing! And if you’re a courier in the South Wales area, get in touch from IWGB Couriers & Logistics Branch @IWGB_CLB



Other news

COVID-19: Demanding a public inquiry On behalf of the Law Centres Network, with the support from Amnesty International, JCWI, the Monitoring Group and over 70 grassroots organisations, civil society charities and trade unions the Public Interest Law Centre wrote to the Government to demanding an urgent public inquiry into the handling of #COVID19. The letter can be found on this link, but more importantly can you send an email from the page demanding that a public inquiry is arranged in the next three months to learn the lessons in order to learn the lessons of before a suspected second wave. https://pilc.org.uk/campaigns/covid-19-demand-a-public-inquiry/

Join the protests against the killing of George Floyd in the USA

The NSSN sends our deepest sympathy to the family of George Floyd, who was killed by police in Minneapolis on May 25th. We also send our solidarity to those who have protested in the USA and around the world. NSSN supporters have been at many of the protests that have taken place all around the country. We think trade unions are vital to build workers’ unity at this time.

There are other protests being organised. To find out about others, follow #MarchforFloyd #KneekforFloyd #GeorgeFloyd and #BlackLivesMatter on social media



Fight blacklisting and victimisation of union reps

Builders Crack: The Movie

In the current situation, this long lost film from the 1990s about rank and file union organising in the construction industry is intended to lift the spirits, but also to spark a debate in our movement. Hope the youngsters in this film put a smile on your face.

Watch – Share – Discuss


Blacklist Support Group

Book: http://newint.org/books/politics/blacklisted-secret-war/

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNcgrNs6pB8

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/groups/blacklistSG/

Blog: www.hazards.org/blacklistblog

Defend Tony Smith Unison Hull – Trade Unionists will be outraged at the dismissal of Tony Smith by an FCC disciplinary hearing. Tony a UNISON activist has been sacked for gross misconduct but in reality he has been victimised for Trade Union activities. All of Tony’s fellow drivers at the FCC waste disposal plant at Willmington agreed that Tony made a correct Health and safety call but this was ignored in a blatant stitch up by management. Tony led the successful strike two years ago which won sick pay rights for 2,500 FCC workers up and down the country. Hull Trades Council will be protesting outside the site and we will be trying to organise more extensive action to coincide with Tony’s appeal. Please send messages of support to Tony Smith C/O Hull City UNISON, Town Hall Chambers 39, Alfred Gelder Street, Hull HU1 2AG or email via [email protected]

Mike Whale Chair Hull Trades Council

PCS: Trade unionists asked to send solidarity to PCS rep dismissed after blowing the whistle (25 July) – Trade unionists are being urged to send solidarity messages to a PCS rep dismissed after whistleblowing at the Department of Work and Pensions. Enrico La Rocca, who had worked for the DWP for more than 27 years, lost his job in May after highlighting serious concerns with management over a number of years. His complaints resulted in questions being asked about the department’s handling of Carer’s Allowance overpayments by the National Audit Office (NAO) and raised by in a Work and Pensions Select Committee report read more from Union News

RMT: SUSPENSION OF RMT REPRESENTATIVES, FRATTON – SOUTH WESTERN RAILWAY – Following my previous Circular (IR/171/20) dated 14th May 2020, as you are aware, two of our representatives, Mark Gamble and Brian Perren, were suspended from duty using unscrupulous charges. South Western Railway’s actions throughout this dispute have been appalling. The company have clearly targeted our members as they are hardworking and effective representatives. The callous action of South Western Railway has been abhorrent from the very start of this dispute. Our members recently had their disciplinary hearings and after successful representation Brother Brian Perren has been reinstated to his substantive role. However, Mark has been left in limbo by the company and still faces these ridiculous charges. This means that the ballot that was due to close today (4th June) has been cancelled. As one of our members has been reinstated, this changes the basis of the original ballot. Unfortunately, because of the anti-trade union laws we would not have been able to use any mandate we received from this ballot. Therefore, we have to run a fresh ballot and this will be to continue to defend our suspended Brother Mark Gamble. The National Executive Committee has considered this matter and has congratulated our members and all those who assisted Brian in proving his innocence and ensuring he is reinstated to his substantive role. The NEC has also instructed me to run a fresh ballot in defense of our Brother Mark Gamble who still remains suspended. It is incredibly disappointing that the company has failed to see sense and instead have chosen to drag on an unnecessary dispute. It is disgraceful that Mark remains suspended and we have no choice but to stand shoulder to shoulder and defy SWR’s callous and distasteful decision. I have written to the company today to advise them of this union’s position and they have been left in no doubt that we will not allow them to pursue outrageous charges against our from democratically elected representatives (from RMT general secretary Mick Cash)

Clara Paillard PCS victoryWe are delighted to announce that the threat of dismissal has been lifted and Clara, PCS president in the Culture sector, is ‘back at work’ (although from home during the current pandemic).

Reinstate Percy Yunganina UVW union – Percy is a cleaner at King’s college with 5 years on the job, and a UVW executive committee member, who’s just been sacked after a disciplinary hearing he refused to attend due to observing the government’s social distancing guidelines but which King’s College proceeded with anyway in his absence without even letting him know or inviting him to attend via phone. The hearing would have had 8 people cramped together in a small room in complete disregard of the government’s instructions about social distancing. Percy has explained the reaons for not attending and asked for the decision to be overturned and the hearing to be reconvened via phone or in person after Lockdown. However, King’s have scandalously refused this request and have insisted on upholding his dismissal which now leaves Percy out of work and out of pocket in the middle of a pandemic! He will formally appeal but it could take months to hear and deliver an outcome. We will also take King’s to tribunal but that could take over a year. This is utterly shameless conduct by King’s HR team, led by Nigel Smith, the Head of People Services. They need to be held to account. Everyone deserves the right to a fair hearing and should not have that right denied them for respecting the government’s public health guidelines about social distancing. Please repost this and write to Nigel Smith at the following address telling him to reinstate Percy – [email protected]

Sign the petition: Reinstate Ezra Christian RMTWe, the undersigned, are appalled at the treatment and summary dismissal of our Bakerloo Line colleague Ezra Christian. Ezra has been treated very harshly and does not deserve to be sacked. We call on London Underground to do the right thing in this case and Reinstate Ezra back into London Underground Employment immediately

Reinstate Clive Walder Unite: the campaign continuesUnfortunately, 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.

Guardian: Ricky Tomlinson’s criminal convictions to be re-examined

Appeal court to look again at case of Royle Family actor after claims he may have been unjustly jailed

The criminal convictions of actor Ricky Tomlinson, who starred in the TV comedy the Royle Family, are to be re-examined by appeal court judges after an official body suggested he may have been unjustly jailed. Tomlinson and other trade unionists have been campaigning for years to clear their names after they were jailed during a strike in the 1970s. On Tuesday, the Criminal Cases Review Commission, the public body that scrutinises alleged miscarriages of justice, announced it had asked the court of appeal to review the cases of Tomlinson and others. Tomlinson, 80, said it was “good news” and an opportunity to prove that he and 23 other men were prosecuted in what amounted to a politically motivated attack on the trade union movement by the government, police and managers read more in Guardian

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



Jordan: Release leaders of the Jordanian Teacher Association read more

Indonesia: Stop Widodo’s Omnibus Bill and protect workers and their families read more




September 13 – NSSN TUC Rally 1pm Facebook event



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