Workers are saying “What recovery? We want our share!”
Millions of public sector workers are having their pay again pegged to 1% when RPI inflation is nearly 3% and energy prices are up 9%! Average household income is already 6% below 2003 levels. NHS workers are not even getting this miserly rise and correctly health unions have attacked ‘divide and rule’ tactics. But the best way to avoid this is to seriously prepare for co-ordinated strike action across the public sector. Unison health conference yesterday passed an emergency motion mandating the union to ballot its members in the NHS for industrial action. Immediately, Unite confirmed that it will also consult its members in the health service. The NSSN calls on all public sector unions to immediately meet to plan joint mass strike action.
This could then link up with all those fighting to defend their standard of living like the London tubeworkers and those in the private sector such as the construction workers currently taking wild-cat action for PAYE. The tubeworkers’ strike showed that with millions of people being hammered financially, any strike by the unions will get huge public support.
The NSSN steering committee met on Saturday to discuss the main themes of this year’s conference – our 8th annual event. If you want to break the pay freeze, fight for a real living wage, oppose zero-hour contracts, privatisation and the rest of the ConDem cuts…this conference is for you. We will also be having workshops to discuss a wide variety of the issues faced by activists in the workplace and the community. The conference is open to all those in the trade union and anti-cuts movements that wants to fight back.
It will be on from 11am-5pm on Saturday 5th July in Conway Hall – 25 Red Lion Square, Holborn, London WC1R 4RL – delegate/visitor fee £6. Confirmed speakers include Ronnie Draper BFAWU bakers’ union General Secretary, POA General Secretary Steve Gillan and Janice Godrich PCS President. Email us now if you want to come as well as if you want leaflets – [email protected]
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. 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]
Massive vote for strike action on Heathrow Express (16 April) – RAIL UNION RMT today announced that staff have voted by huge majorities across Heathrow Express for industrial action in response to a package of multi-million pound cuts which amount to an all-out assault on pay, jobs and safety. The strike vote was almost nine to one with an even bigger majority for action short of a strike. The results will now be considered by RMT’s executive read more
Regional Organiser’s ‘Every Job Matters’ Talks Report: “We will fight, be prepared for strike action” (April 11) – Today myself and senior reps reported back to ACAS the results of the previous 8 weeks of talks on the issues Fit for Future Stations. The fact is that management still intend to close every ticket office, use selection to make people reapply for their jobs, cut 953 jobs and tear up agreements read more
‘March for Bob’ – National RMT Mobilisation for May Day, London, Thursday 1st May 2014. I can advise you that following discussions with the May Day Organising Committee it has been confirmed that the RMT will lead the May Day March on 1st May. The event will be used to honour Bob’s memory and another giant of the Labour Movement, Tony Benn, who some of you may recall was a honorary member of the RMT. The March will be led by the RMT Brass Band and followed by RMT banners read more
GP blood tests and other samples won’t be processed at Reading hospital from 25 April in patient safety dispute (16 April) – Tests from Berkshire GPs will not be processed from Friday 25 April at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in a dispute over reduced staffing levels and patient safety read more
Unite confirms that it will be consulting NHS members on possible strike action over ‘insulting’ pay offer (15 April) – Unite confirmed today (Tuesday 15 April) that it will be consulting its 100,000 members in the health service over possible strike action over the ‘divide and rule’ pay offer. Unite will first consult its members and then, depending on the outcome, proceed to a ballot for strike action and industrial action short of a strike. The consultation with the membership is expected to take place next month. Unite has said that it had never had such angry feedback from its members, following the announcement on pay in March, which meant that 600,000 NHS employees received no cost of living pay rise on 1 April read more
The fight for PAYE continues (April 10) – 40 Agency Sparks cabined up at the Man City training ground demanding to be taken on the cards by Balfour Beatty
Rank & file meetings:-
Wednesday 16 April, 6:30pm – London Conway Hall
Saturday 19 April, 10am – Glasgow John Smith House
Thursday 24 April, 6:30pm – Southampton CIU Working Men’s Club, Swaythling
Act to save our Land Registry (11 April) – After 150 years of registering title to land and property in England and Wales, the government is trying to privatise the Land Registry. This is a real threat to the government guarantee of title, which could drive up the cost of house buying, drive small, local high-street solicitors out of business and threatens the stability of the housing market read more
Reinstate victimised rep Lee Rock (April 11) – There is a protest between 8am and 10am ahead of the first day of Lee’s employment tribunal in Sheffield on 28 April. The address is: Outside Sheffield employment tribunal office 14 East Parade, Sheffield S1 2ET. (Next to Sheffield Cathedral) read more
Health workers vote for strike ballot (April 15) – Hundreds of thousands of healthcare workers, including nurses, paramedics, porters, cleaners, cooks, therapists and healthcare assistants, are to be balloted for industrial action over pay. Delegates at UNISON’s health care conference in Brighton today gave an overwhelming ‘yes’ vote to a ballot. Speaker after speaker, angrily condemned the Government’s decision to give a derisory 1% non-consolidated increase only to NHS staff at the top of their incremental scale. This has left 60% of NHS without an increase this year including 70% of nurses read more
Three days left to have your say on pay (April 15) – The NJC pay consultation has just three days to go – if your members haven’t yet had their say, make sure you don’t leave it too late and lose out. The ballot closes noon on Thursday 17 April, so branches need to mobilise activists and members now. It’s vital that we get as big a turnout as possible for this critical ballot on pay. The union’s NJC committee is recommending rejection of the employer’s offer and is clear that only strike action by local government and school support staff can achieve an improved one read more
UNISON to ballot for strike action at Cardiff County council (April 14) – UNISON members at Cardiff county council are to be balloted members on industrial action after the council announced its intention to cut the working week, resulting in a loss of almost seven days pay over the period of a year read more
Support the Care UK Doncaster strikers (April 14) – Care UK workers at a supported living contract in Doncaster are fighting to protect their NHS terms and conditions. The employer is proposing to cut wages by up to 50% read more
GMB Protests To Secure Living Wage At NEXT (April 9) – GMB plan protests for living wage at Next stores in May and June as retailer posts £695m profits. 37p pay rise will leave staff well below a living wage of £7.65 per hour and £8.80 per hour in London and all the special £300m pay-out to shareholders should be spent on that read more
Dispute looms at UAL over living wage (April 9) – dispute looms At University of Arts London in Admin Unit in Holborn as GMB ballot cleaners for strike action over living wage read more
Fears for cancelled lectures as universities threaten to ‘lock out’ staff (11 April) – Lectures could be cancelled across the UK after universities said they would not pay staff involved in a marking boycott for any of their other work. The unprecedented approach from universities comes ahead of pay talks between unions and universities on Tuesday (15 April) aimed at halting a marking boycott from UCU due to start on Monday 28 April read more
Video update on pensions: ministers’ protection claims “inaccurate” (April 15) – The Fire Brigades Union has released a video exploring comments made by Brandon Lewis, the Westminster fire minster, that during negotiations the union had not raised the issue of protection of members from the government’s pension proposals read more
BECTU names Ritzy strike days over Easter (April 12) – BECTU has named two further periods of strike action at the Ritzy cinema over Easter after an 18-hour strike yesterday (Friday 11 April) forced management to close the venue for the day. Strike action will resume next week – on Good Friday and Easter Saturday – in the continuing dispute over management’s attitude to the London Living Wage (LLW) read more
Vote ‘Yes’ for action – No to ‘Pay for Performance’ – TfL Newsletter (10 April) – Over the past two weeks TSSA reps have talked to hundreds of angry members and non- members about how together we can challenge TfL imposing their Pay for Performance policy, which will freeze our pay and drain our pensions read more
International Fast Food Rights Day of Action May 15th
See reports of March 29th Day of Action on BFAWU website Fast Food Rights website Youth Fight for Jobs website
Independent Survey Commissioned by the POA – You will be aware that following POA Circular 178/13 the National Executive Committee have commissioned Professor Gail Kinman and Dr Andrew Clements to survey the POA membership regarding their views in a number of areas. All of the preparatory work for this has now been completed and the survey will commence on the 14th April 2014 and run until the 12th May 2014. This is an online survey only and will be available for ALL members to complete via a link on the members section of the POA website read more
International Workers Memorial Day – April 28th
The NSSN offers its sincerest sympathy to the latest casualty of the construction industry in Grosvenor Square on Tuesday
REMEMBER THE DEAD FIGHT FOR THE LIVING
Fight the attacks by this coalition on Workers Health and Safety
After decades of Blacklisting thousands of workers many for speaking out over Safety not a single apology has been issued!
So far confirmed speakers: Steve Murphy Gen/Sec UCATT . Gail Cartmail Ass/Gen/Sec UNITE. speaker from London Hazards and Tony O’Brian . Construction Safety Campaign. A Piper will play a Lament to those Workers who have lost there lives at work.
Blacklisting & Victimisation
From GMB: Blacklist Secret Court Order (April 15) – GMB in High Court to get copy of secret court order that instructed ICO to hand over 3,214 blacklisting files to the Blacklisters. Once we obtain a copy we will be filing an injunction application to prevent the lawyers for employers taking any further steps using our member’s information without their consent or the consent of their lawyers read more from GMB website
From Unite: Blacklisted workers should seek compensation through their union (11 April) – Blacklisted workers should use a special blacklisting ‘hotline’ set up by Unite in retaliation to construction employers who are attempting to launch a compensation scheme that has not been agreed by the unions. Unite is also determined to ensure any scheme which is agreed by the unions, means a job for blacklisted workers and upskilling if relevant. Unite believes this is the only true litmus test as compensation is not just about money but dignity, justice and the human right to work read more from Unite website
Blacklist Support Group Update – Easter 2014
1. Blacklisting safety reps costs lives
YET ANOTHER DEATH ON ANOTHER LONDON BUILDING SITE
Yesterday 14th April 2014, Dainius Rupsys from Lithuania aged 33 died after a floor collapse at the former US naval building in Grosvenor Square, At least one other person has been treated for minor injuries. A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police confirmed that the man fell after a floor in the six-storey building gave way. A spokesman from the London Fire Brigade said a mini-digger on the second floor fell to the floor below, as did the two workmen. This is an appalling situation when this is the forth death in London in just a few weeks.
Thursday 17th April 2014
Don’t forget International Workers Memorial Day 28th April
There will be events across the country.
Construction Safety Campaign will hand in a letter to the Qatar Embassy protesting the deaths and injuries on Qatar building sites, as it prepares for World Cup, and demanding workers’ rights.
Assemble 8.30 am -9am, 1 Audley Street, W1K 1NB
2. High Court latest
The blacklisting High Court claim was meant to be in court this week but because of the early retirement of the judge on the case it was postponed. We expect to be back in court in June – July.
In another appalling twist it has been revealed that the ICO has handed over the complete list of names, addresses and national insurance numbers directly to the blacklisting firms after a court order was issued – giving them a ready made blacklist database that was supposedly going to be put out of business.
GMB is currently taking out a High Court injunction to find out what this secret court order is all about. GMB statement reads:
“Both Pinsents Masons (firms lawyers) and the ICO have refused to give us a copy of the order claiming it is bound a practise direction of secrecy. Yesterday our lawyers attended the High Court, and Master Leslie told our lawyers that we should be allowed to see the order. Overnight the administration office of the court has refused to give us the order on the basis that it is a secret order. We have been told that the order restrict the persons or classes of persons who may obtain a copy of the order.”
We didn’t think this scandal could get any more murkier – it now appears that a government department has handed the blacklisting firms the most up to date contacts details of all the workers they blacklisted. And all done in secret. Literally lost for words.
3. Compensation Scheme latest
The blacklisting firms have let it slip that they intend to unilaterally launch their own compensation scheme without the support of the unions, Blacklist Support Group or Guney Clark & Ryan solicitors. Since they first announced their scheme last year the firms have completely failed to grasp the fact that their evil conspiracy has actually affected peoples lives. They treat us now with the exact same disdain they treated us when they denied us work.
Under the firms blacklist compensation scheme, the vast majority of workers would be entitled to £3,000 and not a single blacklisted worker will be offered a job. This is an insult to the workers whose lives they have ruined over decades.
Blacklisting is a major human rights conspiracy that is likely to result in the firms being banned from future publicly funded contracts until such time that they come clean. If Labour wins the Election, they will be facing a big hit on their profits. But the firms, their expensive lawyers and spin doctors still think they have done nothing wrong. It is the business ethics of Don Corleone. Until they wise up, their misnamed compensation scheme is a non-starter. If the firms intend to unilaterally launch their ten bob scheme it will be without the endorsement of the Blacklist Support Group and the blacklisted workers that we represent. Any compensation scheme agreed solely by the perpetrators is not justice. BSG suggest that everyone avoids this PR stunt like the plague.
BSG slogan is: “No talks about us – without us”
4. Blacklist Support Group met with Christian Khan solicitors again last week after we were contacted by Operation Herne – the police investigation into undercover police spying on the Lawrence family and other activists. BSG reiterate our position that we will have nothing to do with the police investigation themselves – the interim Herne report is a total whitewash and exonerates the police of every single allegation made against them in relation to blacklisting and is in complete opposition to the information that has already been disclosed to the BSG and our lawyers by the IPCC and the ICO.
5. Call for public Inquiry continues
The only way to get this scandal fully exposed is by a public inquiry – BSG urge all our supporters to raise the issue within their networks and with their MPs.
6. Art against Blacklisting
BSG Artist in Residence, Thatch Mi-ous has set up a FB page for artists using blacklisting as an inspiration – any artist whether a graphic artist, painter, photographer or musician is welcome to post their work on the page. (an example attached)
7. Agency workers walk outs
Last two weeks have seen a number of walk outs and disputes on building sites by agency workers demanding to be taken on the cards after the recent tax changes.
Site Worker – Latest edition out now: http://siteworker.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/agency-electricians-stage-walk-out.html?m=1
8. Blacklisting is a global phenomenon
International Union Rights magazine – Special Edition on blacklisting out now
Global union magazine read by unions, lawyers & academics – article includes blacklisting articles from Australia, Colombia, Turkey, France, the North Sea and the UK.
email: [email protected] for a copy or order online: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.14213/inteuniorigh.21.issue-1#mobileBookmark
Mexican migrant workers blacklisted by Canadian authorities when they joined a union: http://www.eturbonews.com/43970/mexico-found-guilty-blacklisting-mexican-migrant-workers-canada
Hazards latest: http://www.hazards.org/victimisation/blacklistwarning.htm
9. Caroline Murphy – head of Murphys resignation – statement on blacklisting
International (also see Labourstart)
Portugal: VIDEO: The War of the Ports – “The War of Ports” is the result of a set of European dockworkers testimonials about the solidarity international movement with the port of Lisbon. Taken from the Estivadores Solidariedade YouTube channel watch here
NUJ DM 2014: Support journalists in South Africa (13 April) – At the peak of the fight against apartheid and in an alliance to support media freedom, the NUJ was one of the first unions to take solidarity action with our sister union, the Media Workers’ Association of South Africa (MWASA). We are now asking NUJ chapels and branches to help again – this time to organise activity and collections to raise funds urgently needed to enable MWASA to carry on fighting to defend and support its members at a time when journalists in South Africa need the support of their union more than ever more from NUJ website
Diary (see & use false economy)
19 Singer of the iconic band Stereolab Laetitia Sadier will be performing at the Malvern Cube. With special guest Howard James Kenny. Tickets £8 in advance, available from www.malvernlive.co.uk. Any enquires please contact [email protected]
22 Public Meeting – What now after the floods? Why we need to keep our current fire service levels 7.30pm Staines Community Centre
28 Workers’ Memorial Day visit TUC website for info about events Hazards magazine
1London May Day demonstration – assemble Clerkenwell Green EC1 12 noon (nearest tube Farringdon) download leaflet
3 Cardiff Trades Council May Day march & rally details here
5 MAY DAY MAY DAY Save Sunbury and Staines fire stations benefit – from 12noon The Magpie – 64, Thames Street, Sunbury on Thames TW16 6AF
Chesterfield Trades Council 37th May Day People’s Gala and Demonstration – assemble Town Hall 10.30am leaflet here
24 National Anti-McNulty march and rally in Doncaster
21 “No to Austerity” demo at the BBC, 21st June….No More Austerity – Demand the Alternative National Demonstration + Free Festival, Sat 21 June 2014 – Assemble 1pm BBC HQ, Portland Place London W1 1AA Then march to Parliament
Hurrah for the Luddites: challenging the myths about Luddism – 2-4pm at the Red Shed, Vicarage Street, Wakefield WF1.
The event is about seeing the Luddites in their proper historical context. Contrary to myth, they weren’t a bunch of head bangers. Luddism was a genuine social movement made up of normal working people fighting for justice. They had immense support, were well organised and for a time were immensely successful. Come along and hear more about the true Luddites!
Ken Rowley: Ken is a former Vice President of the National Union of Mineworkers. He is a member of the Wakefield Socialist History Group. He has spoken widely on the Luddites and their West Yorkshire connections to both the University of the Third Age and to local history groups.
Shaun Cohen: Shaun is a member of the Ford-Maguire Society. The Society is named after two notable Leeds socialist pioneers Isabella Ford and Tom Maguire. Shaun’s particular interest is the radical history of Leeds. He has researched widely into the Luddite revolutionary tradition.
Admission to the event is free and there will be a free buffet.
Convenor, Wakefield Socialist History Group
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
18 TUC demonstration in London – ‘Britain Needs a Pay Rise’. It will begin with a march through central London, culminating in a rally in Hyde Park read more
PHONE 07952 283 558
EMAIL mailto:[email protected]
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ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE