A SOLID STRIKE by RMT AND TSSA has gained us a political and industrial victory over Boris Johnson.
A partial retreat by our bosses from an intransigent position of refusing to withdraw their proposed cuts of a 1,000 jobs and closing virtually all ticket offices has been achieved. Action is suspended for eight weeks while all aspects of the proposals are discussed and implementation is put on hold as is the HR1 redundancy notice.
This shows the power of effective industrial action. The action gained support from the public in London, many of whom congratulated us for resisting the cuts. Politically we saw the mask removed from jolly buffoon Johnson revealing the true face of right wing reaction, with his proposals to outlaw our right to strike. This was unpopular for the vast majority of Londoners who when asked supported the right to strike.
The vast majority of Londoners and those who work in and visit the capital also oppose the closure of ticket offices and are worried about the impact of cuts on the safety of passengers, particularly the disabled, visually impaired and women passengers.
Instead of threatening public service workers, ‘key workers’ with a strike ban, the Government should reverse spending cuts and make money available for our key services. We see the tragic results of cuts in the awful floods of our Island, caused by cuts in Government spending. Now they say money is no object and is available, good! If that is the case it is also available for the tube which is the arteries for London. The big corporations based in the Capital and loaded with dosh should pay for a fully staffed, fully publicly owned and subsidised service.
We have won round one but we need to build to ensure we can if necessary put on more action if the cuts in jobs, wages and conditions are not reversed.
John Reid – RMT London Transport regional secretary and NSSN steering committee
Justice for Mark Harding protest – Hammersmith Station 25 Feb at 0845 (Feb 19) – I am sure you are all aware that Mark was the victim of police and judicial provocation that is a threat to the human, civil and trade union rights of every worker in Britain. Mark was arrested and held for 13 hours by police for exercising his right to be on a picket line at Hammersmith during the strike by RMT and TSSA members in the current dispute against LUL/TfL’s planned service and job cuts. Meeting at Hammersmith Met Line station then onto Hammersmith Magistrates Court for 0915 more info here plus downloadable leaflet
The National Shop Stewards Network in the North East is having a re-launch public meeting on “Could there be a general strike in Britain” 24th February 7pm at the Old George in Newcastle
Speakers: Chris Baugh – PCS Assistant General Secretary and Alan Milne – BFAWU Regional Secretary
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’, HSNC – sort code 40-06-41, account number 90143790. Our address is NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE. Affiliation letter here
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]
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 here Latest! Ronnie Draper BFAWU bakers’ union general secretary to speak at NSSN conference!!
Emergency!! Condor Demo (Feb 18) – This is short notice but, our French colleagues are currently sitting in on a Condor vessel in St Malo, they are now into a 3rd day, they have asked the UK unions to support them against ‘social dumping’ by Condor who, are paying Ukrainian seafarers £29 a day for a 12hr day. This is action by our French comrades affords us a window of opportunity to, apply pressure on a rogue ferry operator, using Portsmouth as it’s crew change over base, avoiding UK legislation through, dubious interpretation of immigration laws to exploit foreign workers and pay poverty wages. Bring your banners and whistles let this exploiting employer know we support our comrades in dispute with Condor and we are not going to accept exploitation of workers in a ‘Race to the Bottom’. SOLIDARITY will change the agenda. NEW IDEAS FRESH APPROACH live info feed
RMT News February 2014 Issue Now Available read here
Unions and campaigners mark 10th Anniversary of Tebay (Feb 14) – Rail union RMT will be joined by colleagues, campaigners, friends and relatives this Saturday to mark the 10th anniversary of the Tebay tragedy, which killed four RMT members, by calling for secondary protection to be introduced for vulnerable track workers read more
West Coast Mainline cleaners to strike over victimisation (13 Feb) – rail union RMT confirmed today that cleaners at Liverpool’s Edge Hill depot looking after Virgin West Coast’s Pendelino fleet will strike next weekend over the victimisation and appalling mistreatment of a work colleague read more
London Midland: Duty Train Crew Manager – industrial action ballot result (12 Feb) – The industrial action ballot over the Company’s failure to make you an acceptable offer in relation to your productivity claim has now closed. The result was overwhelmingly in favour for strike action and action short of strike read more
Fast Food Rights Day of Action – Saturday 15 February saw the first day of action to launch the Fast Food Rights campaign – On the 15th of February, the BFAWU, in conjunction with Unite the Resistance, John McDonnell MP, Youth Fight For Jobs, NSSN, and other like-minded organisations, have instigated a day of action to raise the issue of justice for those working in the fast food industry. The aim is to end the exploitation of workers and the use of Zero Hour contracts, and to improve the pay of those working in this hugely profitable industry. We would encourage as many as possible to participate see report on fast Food Rights website
The next Fast Food Rights campaign meeting is on 24 February, 6pm at Vernon Square campus of SOAS (NOT RUSSELL SQUARE CAMPUS), room VG06, Penton Rise, London WC1X 9EW. Near Kings Cross station. PLEASE NOTE CHANGE OF VENUE Map
Youth Fight for Jobs Day of Action March 29th YFJ website
Unofficial walkout at Runcorn beats management (Feb 18) – There was an unofficial walkout by construction workers at Runcorn thermal power station on Thursday in another dispute over safety issues on the site. During the storms on Wednesday a section of cladding from a flue stack blew off on the neighbouring Inios Chlor plant and the site was evacuated. On return to work on Thursday some workers refused to go onto the site due to concerns over site safety despite assurances from the Keppel Segers (K.S.), the company in overall charge on the site, that the site was safe for work. A mass meeting was called at 10.30 and it was moved that we would cabin up for two hours with the reps to meet with management and reconvene the meeting for a report back read more
In response to the vicious actions of One Housing Group management who have suspended our lead rep in what is an appalling act of trade union victimisation, we called an emergency meeting of members at which over 50 attended – Members were shocked and angry and felt the timing was clearly linked to ongoing successful campaigning against cuts with a strike that won back £2.3million and the campaign for decent wages & conditions. Members voted unanimously in a show of hands, to move to ballot for industrial action if needed to defend the rep and union.
Messages of support to [email protected]
Updates on line at www.housingworkers.org.uk
It is a basic principle of our movement that we defend our reps with all means at our disposal. Where Unite representatives are prepared to come forward and defend workers, we have a duty to defend them in turn when they face attack.
Faslane & Coulport strikes suspended as Babcock agrees to fresh pay talks (17 Feb) – Strikes at the Faslane and Coulport nuclear naval and armament bases have been suspended today (Monday 17 February) after Babcock Marine informed Unite that it wished to return to negotiations and agree an improved consolidated pay offer. Action was due to start on Wednesday (19 February) in a dispute over the company’s attempts to impose a below-inflation one per cent pay increase but a written request to return to the negotiating table by Babcock’s senior management was accepted by Unite workplace representatives this morning read more
Tribunal action starts over sacked Grangemouth convenor (12 Feb) – Britain’s largest union, Unite today (Wednesday 12 February) announced that it had started employment tribunal proceedings on behalf of the sacked Ineos convenor Mark Lyon. The tribunal is being asked to find that Mark Lyon was unfairly dismissed for reasons relating to the representation he provided as a trade union convenor. Ineos convened a disciplinary hearing despite Mark being off work with stress read more
Back the national day of action against ATOS (14 Feb) – We are supporting a national day of action against multinational ATOS and the work capability assessments read more NSSN photos of London ATOS HQ protest more photos and another!
Millions abandoned as government plots to close tax centres (12 Feb) – Millions of taxpayers are being abandoned as the government confirmed today it will close its face-to-face enquiry centres. The closure of the UK’s 281 walk-in tax offices, expected to take place by the end of June, will mean more than 2.5 million pensioners, vulnerable workers and tax credit claimants will lose a vital service. It also puts at risk the jobs of 1,300 low-paid, skilled workers read more
New 48 Hour Strike At Ealing Hospital (Feb 17) – Further 48 Hours strike by 150 GMB Members at Ealing Hospital between 19th And 21th Feb over two tier workforce. These vital NHS workers on national minimum rate of £6.31 are 44% below the lowest comparable NHS rate in London of £9.09 per hour read more
No Council Pay Offer (Feb 14) – employers stall 1% pay offer for 1.5 million council workers to assess impact of rise in national minimum wage in October. Unions are entering into dispute with the local government employers as a measly 1%, reduced even further to pay the national minimum wage, will infuriate our members read more
Dispute at Medway Council (Feb 13) – dispute looms in Medway Council over Tory plans to dismiss and re-engage staff so as to impose performance related pay scheme in 2015. Medway Council has already said that they do not intend to pay any increase this year after four year pay freeze claiming to have no money read more
STRB says no to Gove – keep up the pressure Stand up for education – watch the video message here – In a huge blow to Michael Gove, the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB) has rejected his arguments for further attacks on teachers’ pay and conditions read more. For the NUT’s press release click here
University graduations at risk as union gives green light to marking boycott (17 Feb) – Students’ assessments and graduations will hit by a marking boycott if an increasingly bitter pay dispute between universities and staff is not resolved in the next two months. UCU announced this morning that it has given the green light for its ‘ultimate sanction’ of a marking boycott to be implemented from 28 April if university employers still refuse to thrash out a deal over pay read more
Staff vote for more strike action at the University of Central Lancashire (17 Feb) – More strikes at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) look likely after UCU announced today that its members have voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action in a row over job losses, and changes to agreements over pay and grading for academic staff. Over four-fifths (81%) of members who voted backed plans for strike action. The university has already seen staff walk out six times this academic year through three full strike days and a series of two-hour stoppages in a national row over pay read more
Local government dispute declared (Feb 17) – UNISON and the other local government unions have lodged a formal dispute with the Local Government Employers covering England, Wales and Northern Ireland over the failure to make a pay offer on 14 January read more
Discussions with government over firefighters’ pensions continue (Feb14) – Representatives from the Fire Brigades Union and the government in Westminster have this week continued to discuss all aspects of firefighters’ current dispute over pensions read more
Firefighters’ union leader visits south west fire and rescue workers struggling without equipment (Feb 14) – general secretary of the Fire Brigades Union, Matt Wrack, will visit firefighters combatting floods in the South West of England today read more
Messages of solidarity to Newsquest strikes in York, Bradford and Darlington (17 Feb) – Three 24-hour strikes started today in Bradford, York and Darlington over the transfer of production to a subbing hub in Newport, Wales, resulting in job losses read more
Journalists are under threat in Egypt, six have been killed and many more injured covering events on the streets of Cairo and the rest of the country. Others, including Peter Greste, Mohamed Fadel Fahmy and Baher Mohamed of Al-Jazeera, have been thrown into prison. The NUJ demonstration at 11.30-13.30 on Wednesday 19 February at the Egyptian embassy, 26 South Street London W1K 1DW (off Park Lane, nearest tubes Hyde Park Corner or Green Park) will deliver a letter to the authorities. Speakers include Michelle Stanistreet and Jeremy Corbyn MP. Read more
Romec strike off after company U-turn (14th Feb) – Romec engineers called off planned strike action yesterday after the company pledged to abide by longstanding job security agreements
POA launch mass March, Rally and Lobby of Parliament on 19th March 2014
The National Executive Committee is to begin a detailed campaign strategy commencing on the 19th March 2014 at the Central Methodist Hall, Westminster, London.
The launch and theme of our campaign leading up to the General Election in 2015 will be as follows;
68 is too late Pension Campaign.
Violence in the Workplace.
Privatisation of Public Services and Prisons.
Within these four elements lots of issues will develop in relation to budget cuts, prison closures, terms and conditions of employment, personal protective equipment, overcrowding and mental health issues. We are sure there are many other areas that will be expanded upon during the launch and debates.
Our intent is to bring our issues into the public domain to gain the general public’s support and ensure politicians of all political parties understand they need to make commitments in the Election Manifestos to ensure workers in the Criminal Justice System from prisons to our Secure Psychiatric Hospitals and the Immigration Services are treated fairly.
Dear brothers and sisters,
Originating in the Justice for Cleaners campaign, the Independent Workers Union (IWGB) has been organising cleaners, porters, kitchen staff, security and other low paid, mainly migrant outsourced workers. In the most difficult circumstances IWGB has secured major achievements in campaigns such as at John Lewis, Barbican Centre, University of London and the Royal Opera House. Despite the recession IWGB has been successful in stopping job cuts and winning the London Living Wage, sick pay, increased holidays and pensions for many of our members. The employers have vast resources and finances at their disposal. Whilst the IWGB as a voluntary association of workers has been organising on a shoestring. With our achievements the demand of other workers to organise has also grown. So too has the demands on our extremely limited resources. The solidarity of our members and the labour movement has helped us improve the conditions and quality of life of many impoverished workers, with greater resources we believe we can achieve more. To assist us we are appealing for financial solidarity. We urgently require additional funds to assist our organising work. Details here
Work your hours Feb 28th marks the 59th day we work for free…
This is what I have sent to reps today, feel free to use whatever you need – A reminder of our intention to build a better work life balance to share with members as part of our campaigns for decent pay, dignity at work & a life outside!
Last year, the TUC found that one in five employees across the UK regularly worked unpaid overtime, worth over £28billion and on average around £5,600 per person.
Long hours are not good for us; they cause stress; they’re bad for our health; they wreck relationships; they make caring for children or dependents more difficult; and tired, burnt-out workers ain’t no good!
Workers in the UK currently work the longest hours in Europe, take the shortest lunch breaks and enjoy the fewest public holidays. Childcare is expensive and difficult to find, care for older people is of inconsistent quality and financial support during family-related leave is lower than in some other parts of Europe. The quest for higher productivity and the long hours’ culture limit the effects of improved rights and can undermine equal opportunities policies.
Practically tie this in with current campaigns:
Consider a posting to all members with specific information on your workplace issues?
Perhaps arrange a meeting or lunch or event that day?
Discuss and clearly log workloads, work out best ways to effectively report to supervisors and your reps. We urge you to challenge extra work and caseloads, evidence this and raise it as a collective issue.
Seriously 59 extra days on average for free…we need our time back!
Arti Dillon – Unite LE/1111 Assistant Branch Sec
Work Life Balance TUC – http://www.tuc.org.uk/workplace-issues/work-life-balance
Blacklisting & Victimisation
1. This coming weekend is the 5th anniversary of the ICO raid that discovered the building industry blacklist. 5 years on, we have not even received an apology and still await justice.
Our message to all those implicated in blacklisting – you can’t hide forever. The day of reckoning is coming soon.
We will be back in the High Court in April. Blacklisted workers demand a fully independent public inquiry to expose the whole sordid scandal.
2. Blacklist Compensation Scheme latest
The negotiations are ongoing. We cannot go into detail but the present offer from the firms falls massively short of what blacklisted workers are after. BSG will not sign up to anything that does not agree to jobs for blacklisted workers and fully compensated workers for the true value of their loss over many years. The £1000 offer that the firms expect to apply to the vast majority of blacklisted workers is an insult.
We are full steam ahead in preparation for the High Court claim.
3. BSG meeting in Liverpool
11am Sat 22nd February 2014
4. Police Involvement in blacklisting
Evidence from ex-undercover police officers published in The Guardian that the police were involved in blacklisting has been confirmed by documents seized by the ICO. BSG have put in a formal complaint about the police collusion to the IPCC and the police watchdog has admitted that Special Branch routinely provided information about prospective employees. BSG are working with other victims of undercover police spying including the Lawrence family, environmental and anti-racist activists in the Campaign Opposing Police Spying #COPS
COPS launch meeting
Main speaker: Doreen Lawrence
6.30pm Thurs 27th February 2014
Keep the faith
International (also see Labourstart)
Portugal: Victory for the dockworkers! (February 18) – In a Press Conference held yesterday in Lisbon Dockworkers Union, António Mariano and others leaders of Union announced that the two years long dispute on conditions and against casual work worth. The Dockers achieved immediate reintegration of the 47 dockworkers sacked, beginning of negotiations for a Collective Working Agreement and no more admission of dockworkers through a precarious job agency. The strong organization and combative attitude of the sector coupled with active solidarity from their European and world comrades allowed for a strong setback in Mota-Engil (owner of Lisbon Dockers employment company that set up a new one to force the casual work and drop wages to 1/3) plans to turn the Lisbon Harbour into a precarious job place together with dockworkers and, ultimately, all working people.
Canada: Workers at the Labatt brewery in St. John’s, Newfoundland are back on the job — and they’re thanking you read more
Join the #BetterBanks Global Day of Action! The Committee for Better Banks (CBB), Communication Workers of America (CWA) and UNI Finance Global Union (UNI) have joined forces to campaign for better working conditions for finance workers in the United States and throughout the world. The delegation has organized a day of action in New York City February 18th to highlight key inequalities and injustices faced by America’s finance workers, bringing together bank workers from across the world to march on Wall Street and show their solidarity for the cause of America’s downtrodden employees read more
Netherlands: Campaign success for flower auction workers in the Netherlands – Unions at Dutch flower auction FloraHolland suspended their strike on February 12 when the company finally agreed to negotiate on their demands read more
Cuba Solidarity Campaign: A New Year message from René González see video here
Diary (see & use false economy)
22 The English Defence League has announced that it will be protesting in Grantham against the building of a prayer hall in the town. A group of residents in Grantham have come together under the banner of “Grantham Solidarity Network”, a broad-based group set up to oppose the EDL. They are calling on people to assemble in Grantham town centre from 11am. For more information, you can visit their event page
24 Lobby Greater Manchester West Mental Health Trust – from 9am, Trust HQ, Prestwich Hospital, Bury New Rd, Prestwich M25 3BL
25: 4th Rail Package – Demonstration in Strasbourg
RMT is joining forces with the ETF, along with the TSSA and ASLEF to protest outside the European Parliament in the French city of Strasbourg against dangerous EU rules demanding ‘open access’ for private rail companies. http://www.rmt.org.uk/news/events/2014/02/25/
26 Salford protest against cuts – Salford councillors are planning to vote for a cut of £24.5m in funding for services. These cuts – if passed – will lead to the loss of 300 jobs and attacks on key frontline services like Mental Health Support, Welfare Rights and Debt Advice, Supported Tenancies, Children’s Centres, Care On Call, Early Intervention and Prevention and Passenger Transport to name just a few. These are services that help Salford’s most vulnerable people and any attack on them will mean an attack on the most vulnerable. For more information contact Salford City UNISON on 0161 794 7425
Southwark Trades council lobby of Southwark Council tax and budget meeting 6pm 160 Tooley St, SE1 download leaflet
27 Stop the Bloodbath Budget 3.30 – 6.30pm Cardiff City Hall
1 Miners’ Strike Commemoration will be held in Wakefield at the Red Shed, 18 Vicarage Street, Wakefield WF1 1QX. The Commemoration is to be held by the Wakefield Socialist History Group and takes place 30 years to the day since the NCB announced the closure of Cortonwood and the year-long dispute began.
Speakers include Granville Williams (from Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign), Ken Rowley (who was a NUM official at Selby during the strike and who served on the National Executive Committee of the NUM), Ken Capstick (previously Vice President of the NUM), Sally Kincaid (Divisional Secretary of Wakefield National Union of Teachers) and Christopher Emms (Chair, UNITE, Leeds Community Branch).
There will be sketches from the Red Shed Players, live music, a choir (“Free Range”). A free light buffet will be provided
6 New play about the Tolpuddle Martyrs to premiere at Hull Truck Theatre
Fresh from an acclaimed run at this Edinburgh Fringe, Townsend Productions are set to return at Hull Truck Theatre after last year’s Sold-out show with The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, with their latest production We Will Be Free on Thursday 6th March at 7.30 pm
Set in 1834 We Will Be Free follows the extraordinary true story of George and Betsy Loveless. He was a Methodist preacher and the leader of the six Dorsetshire farm labourers who were tried, convicted and condemned to harsh transportation by an oppressive Government for having the temerity to swear a secret oath and form a union to fight against a succession of wage cuts inflicted by the local landowner.
This vitally important story is told using the entertaining theatrical style developed through our production of The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists; through Andy Vine’s powerful political cartoons and animation; through puppetry and the exquisite musical arrangements by revered folk singer and squeezebox player John Kirkpatrick, of the songs and rallying hymns of the Dorset labouring classes that resound down the years.
‘We Will Be Free’s’ excellent cast features former Sheffield university student Neil Gore (Song of Singapore, West End & Chichester Festival Theatre, Little Britain Live & The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists) and Charlotte Powell (The Tempest Orange Tree Theatre) ). At this year’s Edinburgh Fringe, we were nominated at The Stage Awards for Acting Excellence. The play is directed by Louise Townsend and Sheffield’s Richard Stone
The production will also feature songs from the highly acclaimed folk singer and squeezebox player, John Kirkpatrick. During his distinguished career John has worked with artists like Roy Bailey, John Tams, Richard Thompson, Martin Carthy and Steeleye Span. He is also a regular session musician and has played on numerous film sound tracks most recently the Oscar nominated Pirates – Adventures with Scientists, as well as in The Royal National Theatre Production of ‘Lark Rise To Candleford’.
The play has had the backing of the unions ACCORD, NASUWT, UNITE, SWTUC and SW Unison
Tickets can be purchased at the Box Office: Box Office – 01482 323638/www.hulltruck.co.uk
For more information visit www.townsendproductions.co.uk
Interviews are available with Neil Gore & Charlotte Powell call Louise Townsend (Producer/Director) 07949635910
6 RMT will be holding a joint meeting with the Merton and Sutton TUC in Carshalton at 8pm at the Carshalton Ex-services Club, West Street, Carshalton as both organisations step up the fight against savage fare increases and attacks on jobs and safety on the Thameslink and Southern rail services which ferry thousands of passengers through the area every day of the week
8 March & rally outside Lib Dem spring conference in York
15 Fair Funding for Public Services – Join our march and rally: Liverpool City Centre. Called by Northwest Unison. For more info go to www.unisonnw.org
29 Uniform Day
2 Visteon/Ford pensioners 5th anniversary march – 10.45 Assemble outside Unite House, Theobalds Road, Holborn, 11.00 Speeches, 11.30 March to Parliament Square, 12.30 Speeches and meet MP’s
5 8th Annual NSSN Conference – Conway Hall – 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL
12 Durham Miners Gala 2014 visit Durham Miners’ Association official website
18-20 Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival – Tolpuddle, near Dorchester, Dorset visit Tolpuddle Martyrs museum
PHONE 07952 283 558
EMAIL mailto:[email protected]
TWITTER – https://twitter.com/NSSN_AntiCuts
ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE