From RMT London Calling read full bulletin here
Despite the concerted efforts of TfL bosses to persuade members to vote against strike action our members voted overwhelmingly to take action to defend our jobs and services.
77% voted in favour of strike action. That’s 31% of those balloted, a greater percentage of the electorate than voted either for Boris or Cameron. It is a resounding mandate.
We can win this dispute if we stand firm. We will be further strengthened when TSSA get a yes vote in their ballot, which is now underway.
We demand the withdrawal of LU’s Fit for the Future proposals. It is totally unjustified to force job cuts, pay cuts and worse working conditions onto tube workers just so that the government can cut the tube’s grant and hand more of the public’s money over to bankers in the City.
We urge members not just to strike but to form picket lines outside of stations when you are called out on strike at 12 noon. All grades have been instructed to strike because these cuts will affect all grades. The measures announced so far will make up only 6.2% of the total cuts that LU is seeking to make. If we allow the bosses to give us a kicking now they will come back again for more cuts and for our pensions.
We will be picketing depots to convince Aslef members not to cross picket lines. Contracts and conditions of service have been ripped up on the stations and this will be repeated on trainside if we do not stop LU now. UNITY IS STRENGTH EVERY MEMBER OF RMT MUST STAND UNITED SHOULDER TO SHOULDER UNTIL WE ACHIEVE VICTORY.
John Reid, RMT London Transport RC Secretary (and member of NSSN steering committee)
‘Hands off London Transport’ Public Rally – 6.30pm Thursday January 16th in Conway Hall – 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL – Speakers include Bob Crow RMT General Secretary & Manuel Cortes TSSA General Secretary – bring your union banners Download leaflet
TSSA calls strike ballot over Tube ticket office closures (9 January) – A strike ballot of front line station staff was called today by the TSSA rail union in protest at plans to close 260 Tube ticket offices and axe nearly 1,000 jobs. It gave London Underground seven days’ notice of a ballot which will start next Friday, January 17 and end on January 27. Any subsequent industrial action could start from February 3 in the event of a yes vote. Manuel Cortes, general secretary, blamed the ballot on the “reckless” behaviour of London Mayor Boris Johnson who he said was refusing to meet the unions over their genuine fears for safety and security with the wholesale closure of every ticket office read more
NAPO affiliates to NSSN! We are delighted to report that NAPO has become the 8th national union to officially support the NSSN after agreeing to affiliate to the Network. We look forward to developing our relationship with the union and its members from NSSN website
Your New Year’s resolution – I want to get more involved in the NSSN!
Brilliant! Then we’d love you to work with us, in your union branch, local community and on some of the regional or national initiatives we support. Anything you can assist with or would like to develop? Give us a shout. Contact details at the bottom of this bulletin.
Get your trade union branch or trades council to affiliate – 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’, HSNC – sort code 40-06-41, account number 90143790. Our address is NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE.
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]
This Saturday!! January 18 2014 Southern NSSN conference (hosted by UNITE Bracknell) ‘Building the Fightback against Austerity’ – 2pm to 5pm, Priestwood Community Centre, Bracknell read more
The 8th Annual NSSN Conference will be on Saturday 5th July in Conway Hall – 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL – delegate/visitor fee £6
More from RMT
First Great Western Mitie cleaners strike again (15 January) – MEMBERS OF rail union RMT working for sub-contractors Mitie on First Great Western at Paddington and Old Oak Common will strike again from Sunday morning in a fight for the London Living Wage and workplace justice read more
RMT Wessex anti-rail cuts campaign targets Portsmouth (14 January) – RMT Wessex region will be holding another in a series of anti-rail cuts actions next week. As part of the RMT’s ongoing campaign against the attacks on jobs and safety, there will be a Stop McNulty/Action for Rail demonstration next Wednesday 22nd Jan between 5.30pm-6.30pm at Portsmouth & Southsea Station, followed by a public meeting in, Portsmouth City Library Guildhall Walk, Portsmouth PO1 2DX at 7pm on the same day. The public meeting will be hosted by the Portsmouth Trades Council/RMT Wessex Regional Council. Speakers are; Steve Hedley RMT Assistant General Secretary, Simon Weller ASLEF National Organiser, Keith Morrell Southampton City Councillor and Jon Woods, President Portsmouth Trades Council read more
Commons staff take pay case to court (14 January) – Our members responsible for admin and services in the House of Commons have launched a high court case over contractual pay progression read more
Demo demands: keep tax advice local (14 January) – A lively demonstration outside HM Revenue and Customs’ Whitehall headquarters called for the UK’s 281 face-to-face tax enquiry offices to be kept open. The demonstration outside 100 Parliament Street this morning coincided with a meeting by senior HMRC executives to decide the offices’ fate. John McDonnell, chair of the PCS Parliamentary Group, lent his full support to members in their “battle against the planned closure of face-to-face tax enquiry centres, threatening a vital public service and the jobs of dedicated, skilled staff.” Our assistant general secretary Chris Baugh spoke at the demo and Labour MP Katy Clark also attended read more
Information for members on strike action and talks over pensions (January 13) – The general secretary of the FBU has written to all members to outline developments in the campaign against government attacks on firefighters’ pensions. In the circular, Matt Wrack outlines recent discussions with the Westminster government, including their agreement to a series of discussions on the various issues in dispute, the FBU’s response to the Department for Communities and Local Government’s consultation on pension contribution increases and the possibility of further strike read more
FBU response to government consultation on 2014 pension contribution increases (January 13) – ‘Unjustified and self-defeating’: the FBU responds to the government’s consultation on proposed pension increases read more
Unite forms ‘war cabinet’ to fight community services cuts across the North West
(14 January) – Unite local authority members are forming a ‘war cabinet’ to help fight drastic cuts to jobs and vital public services across the North West. Unite representatives from across the North West, including Warrington, Salford and Liverpool, will come together this Thursday (16 January 2014) at the Liner Hotel, Lord Nelson Street, Liverpool at 10.30 read more
Weymouth bus drivers to strike on Monday in pay dispute (14 January) – About 60 drivers at First Hampshire and Dorset will strike for 24 hours on Monday (20 January) in a dispute which has seen their pay fall dramatically behind their regional counterparts read more
Strike action on cards at Somerset cider giant over pay (10 January) – Workers at the Gaymer Cider Company in Shepton Mallett, Somerset are voting on possible industrial action in a dispute over pay. Unite is holding a ballot of its more than 100 production workers at the Kilver Street site on whether to take strike action or industrial action, short of a strike in the dispute which has seen them endure a fourth year of a pay freeze. The ballot closes on Friday 24 January read more
Unite / GMB
“PRESS RELEASE – UNITE & GMB SHOP STEWARDS COMMITTEE (SHETLAND GAS PLANT)
Several hundred Unite & GMB construction workers, working on Total’s new Shetland Gas Plant, have taken part in a legal ballot, with the dispute concerning the sharing of rooms with not having equality with the supervision/management regarding this issue, plus also having to travel 60 miles a day in our own time and not being compensated for it.
The ballot result (06/01/14) showed that GMB members voted 98% in favour of strike action and the Unite members voted 96.7% also in favour of strike action, so therefore if the aforementioned aspirations of the Union members are not met, construction of the new build Shetland Gas Plant will come to a halt with industrial action taking place.
The Union construction workers on the project involved in this dispute are working for Total’s main contractor Petrofac and their sub-contractors Bilfinger Industrial Services (BIS), Balfour Beatty Engineering Services (BBES) and Randridge. The Union workers involved, are employed on the Shetland Gas Plant project as welders, platers, pipefitters, riggers, steel erectors, mechanical fitters, scaffolders, electricians, labourers, tele-handler/drivers.”
Settling Equal Pay Costs in Birmingham (January 15) – Birmingham City Council Spent Years and Millions to Avoid the Legal Obligation to Give Their Female Staff Equal Pay Says GMB read more
Bakkavor Strike Ballot (January 9) – GMB Members at Bakkavor Pizza Harrow to be Balloted for Strike Action in Pay Dispute. They have tolerated below inflation increases in pay for the last four years while, ensuring that the business has thrived and continues to make profit. 600 GMB members at Bakkavor Pizza in Park Royal are to be balloted for strike action in a dispute over pay. The result of the ballot will be known on Wednesday 29th January 2014 read more
New campaign calls Day of Action on February 15 to organise Fast Food workers into unions – last week in Parliament in a meeting addressed by John McDonnell, the Bakers Union has initiated a campaign to organise workers in the fast Food industry, particularly those on zero-hour contracts. The NSSN attended along with trade unionists and organisations like IWGB, Youth Fight for Jobs, DPAC and Unite the Resistance Fast Food Rights website
NUT NEC meeting on Thursday – what strategy should we adopt? (By Martin Powell Davies NUT NEC & NSSN steering committee) – With the attacks on pay and pensions already largely in place, and attacks on conditions soon to be added, the NUT urgently needs to agree a workable strategy to put to beleaguered teachers. With no news of any ‘significant progress’ in our dispute with Gove, (and that’s no real surprise), an emergency NUT Executive meeting has been called on January 16 to decide what strategy the NUT should now adopt for action. But what should that strategy be? The strategy has to be one that is seen by members as having a prospect of successfully forcing back Gove’s attacks. We should also be pursuing co-ordination of action with other trade unions in dispute – which needs to be addressed seriously by discussion of common action dates between unions read more
Residential home care workers strike to protect services (January 13) – Care workers in Glasgow City Council’s residential homes will go on strike for two days from tomorrow (Tuesday) to resist new job roles, longer shift patterns and pay cuts of up to 7 per cent. Brian Smith, UNISON City of Glasgow Branch Secretary, said: “We have not taken action lightly but have no alternative.” Read more
POA launch mass March, Rally and Lobby of Parliament on 19th March 2014 read more
Royal Opera House cleaners to strike during BAFTAs (January 14) – Royal Opera House cleaners are to go on strike during this year’s BAFTA film award ceremony, which takes place at the London venue next month. The workers, who are employed by an agency – Management Incentive Through Investment Equity – that is contracted by the ROH, want their pay increased to the London living wage of £8.80 an hour read more from The Stage
IWGB University of London branch to strike on 27, 28 and 29 January 2014 http://iwgb.org.uk/2013/12/10/iwgb-university-of-london-branch-announces-strike-dates-for-the-new-year/
Blacklisting & Victimisation
Latest report from Blacklist Support Group:-
1. Blacklist Compensation Scheme
Talks have been put on hold over the holiday break but an alternative set of proposals is being drawn up by lawyers for our side to present as an alternative to the employers scheme.
We expect the blacklisting firms to go for a media splash to announce the scheme sometime soon but any compensation scheme drawn up exclusively by the blacklisting companies without the support of the blacklisted workers and the trade unions has no credibility whatsoever. In what other situation would a criminal be allowed to decide the compensation for the victims or the level of penalty for the crime they committed?
We advise any blacklisted workers to have nothing to do with the employers blacklist compensation scheme – even if you are only interseted in finacial compensation, the final offer will be considerably better than the human rights abusing companies are offering at the moment.
The High Court case is due back in court in mid April 2014 – so is likely to focus the minds of the companies when it comes to the compensation scheme. Watch this space for more updates.
2. Blacklisting campaign honoured
The year-long Crossrail dispute for the reinstatement of blacklisted and sacked UNITE shop steward Frank Morris has been named by Red Pepper magazine as one of the Top Success Stories of 2013. Well done Frank Morris, Well done UNITE, Well done everyone who helped in the campaign from across the globe. We are in good company because the other successes were the Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign and the 3 Cosas.
This recognition goes alongside the other awards won by the Blacklist Support Group for our campaigning.
BSG have also won a Robert Tressell Award at the Construction Safety Campaign AGM an Alan Award for campaigners of the year at Hazards National Conference and were nominated and short-listed for human rights campaign of the year at the Liberty Awards.
The awards are recognition for all the hard work put in by supporters across the country – thank you all very much – please give yourself a big pat on the back
Full story: http://www.redpepper.org.uk/successes-from-2013/
3. Alder Hey Hospital, Liverpool
Blacklist Support Group protest
Laing O’Rourke site at Alder Hey Hospital
East Prescott Road.
8.00am Saturday, January 18th
Laing O’Rourke are one of the leading blacklisting companies, are a defendant in the High Court and are currently refusing trade union recognition on the project. Crown House (Laing O’Rourke’s M&E subsidiary) left the JIB in 2012 and are the only major electrical company in the UK refusing to work under nationally agreed terms and conditions.
If you are in the NW region – please spread the word & join the NW Rank & File and the Blacklist Support Group for a big turn out
4. Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance
Blacklist Support Group is working alongside the family of Stephen Lawrence, the female activists sexually abused by undercover police, environmental and anti-racism campaigners calling for a full public inquiry into the role of police spies in subverting democratic legal protest movements.
BSG have already submitted a complaint to the IPCC and are chasing other leads more details soon.
5. News from America
The US version of the HSE has just levied a massive fine on a US company for blacklisting a trucker who took firm to court after an accident.
Why isn’t the HSE taking legal action against British construction firms who blacklisted workers raising safety concerns and union safety reps?
6. Reel News Film Night
Blacklisting Film and videos of other Red Pepper success stories from 2013
7:30pm Thurs 16th January
The videos produced by Reel News and circulated on social media are an integral part of the Blacklist Support Group campaigning – please support
Facebook event: REEL NEWS FILM NIGHT: SUCCESSES OF 2013
7. Construction National Rank & File meeting
1pm Saturday 1st February
Speakers include: Jackson Cullinane (UNITE), Louise Taggart (Families Against Corporate Killers), Dave Smith (BSG)
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/270361989780126/?ref=3&ref_newsfeed_story_type=regular&source=1
8. Next Time:
i. More from the blacklisting investigation being carried out by the Scottish Affairs Select Committee
ii. The judgment in the Smith v Carillion blacklisting case – can an agency worker win a claim against a firm that admits blacklisting him?
Remember to join our facebook group for even more regular updates
Keep the Faith
Blacklist Support Group
Yorkshire Ambulance Service Update
Once again thank you for the support you have given to the fight to achieve re-recognition of Unite at Yorkshire Ambulance Service.
I am no longer involved in the organising of the campaign as I have returned to my place of work, having achieved the target I was set of ensuring the activists were confident of achieving a ballot for industrial action, see below.
We are hoping we can secure the services of the organising unit to step up the campaign and build on what has been achieved so far.
Messages of support can be sent to [email protected]
I will update as and when I have any news.
Steve Miller Unite EC
International (also see Labourstart)
India: UK brickyard workers solidarity over atrocities (January 14) – GMB brickyard workers in Peterborough affirm support for brickyard workers in India subject to bonded labour. The horrendous conditions were highlighted recently when two workers in Odisha had their hands chopped off when they refused to work says GMB. GMB and Unite brick kiln workers at Hanson brick in Peterborough staged a demonstration yesterday 13th January to support with Indian brick workers fighting for better terms and conditions more from GMB website
Fiji: union leaders arrested after a strike at Starwood hotels – On January 9, six union leaders from the National Union of Hospitality Catering and Tourism Industries were arrested and charged as a result of what the government claims to have been an “unlawful strike” that took place on New Year’s Eve at Sheraton Fiji Resort and Westin Denarau Island Resort and Spa (both owned by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc.) at Narewa village, Fiji. Workers in fact held a spontaneous protest against the unilateral removal of their staff benefits. The military government declared the strike illegal and arrested the leadership of the union read more
Cambodia: Stop government violence against workers – This campaign is in solidarity with Cambodian garment workers and unions, who initiated a general strike seeking an increase in minimum wage from US$80 per month to US$160 read more
USA: Video – Launch of $15now campaign in Seattle. Hundreds attend launch of campaign to fight for decent minimum wage see video
Diary (see & use false economy)
14 Candlelit picket of workfare exploiters Grosvenor G Casino – meet at the Pier 7pm
15 Lincoln ‘rally against racism’ 7pm at the Labour Club – as part of campaign against the far-right East Anglian Patriots who intend to march in city on January 18
16 ‘Hands off London Transport’ Public Rally – 6.30pm in Conway Hall – 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL
17 No charges against the Sussex Five! Demonstration against disciplinary action! 1pm Library Square, Sussex University
18 Southern NSSN conference (hosted by UNITE Bracknell) ‘Building the Fightback against Austerity’ – 2pm to 5pm, Priestwood Community Centre, Bracknell
Lincoln against Racism and Fascism ‘march against racism’ – 10.30am at St Martins Square
19 Brighton Benefits Campaign fund-raising roast – Cowley Club 1-3pm
22 Save our Services in Surrey public meeting meeting against fire service cuts – 7.30pm in Staines community centre
25 Anti Academies Alliance meeting “Campaigning against forced academies”, Saturday 25 January, 1-4pm, Central London venue, plus AAA AGM and Steering Committee – contact http://antiacademies.org.uk/ for further info.
30 Already in Cardiff, details are emerging of brutal cuts planned for jobs and services in the city. Cardiff Council is pushing ahead with plans to close the STAR centre in Splott and a nursery will shut unless the plans are halted. Join the protest and urge the Council to refuse to pass on the Tory cuts onto jobs and services, and instead take the road cut by Poplar, Clay Cross and Liverpool in the past – the path advocated by rebel councillors in Southampton, Hull, Warrington and elsewhere today. Contact Ross with details of any other cuts planned via Facebook message or at 07772215281 or on [email protected].
1 National Rank and File Construction Meeting – Jury’s Inn Hotel, Glasgow at 1pm – 4pm.
4 Save our Services in Surrey lobby of Surrey County Council cabinet meeting against fire service cuts
6 RMT member P Mihaj vs Sodexo Ltd 9am London Holborn on unfair dismissal on Trade Union grounds.
15 Fast Food Rights Day of Action
ROCK AGAINTS THE CUTS – BREAD AND ROSES, CLAPHAM MANOR
7.30PM with 48 Thrills, Comrade X and the Lone Groover
27 Stop the Bloodbath Budget 3.30 – 6.30pm Cardiff City Hall
29 Uniform Day
5 8th Annual NSSN Conference – Conway Hall – 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL
PHONE 07952 283 558
EMAIL [email protected]
ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE