NSSN 219: Nov 24 NHS strike & Zero-hour lobby of Parliament

NHS strikes November 24th Eleven trade unions representing NHS workers including nurses, midwives, cleaners, pharmacists, scientists, porters, secretaries, paramedics, occupational therapists, radiographers, dieticians, healthcare assistants, kitchen and maintenance staff will stage a four-hour stoppage in the morning on Monday 24 November 2014. There will also be action short of strike around this date. See the following websites: Unison   Unite    GMB      Royal College of Midwives  Society of Radiographers        UCATT     British Association of Occupational Therapists     British Dietetic Association      Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association The POA and MiP are also on strike

From GMB website: Nov 20th Parliament Vigil for NHS – Vigil outside Parliament at 7pm on 20 November on Eve of Debate on New Draft Legislation to Rescue NHS from Competition Quagmire read more


BFAWU / Fast Food Rights

November 21st – BFAWU lobby of Parliament to support private members bill by Ian Mearns MP on zero-hour contracts: assemble 12noon Old Palace Yard opposite House of Commons download leaflet

Sheffield Hungry for Justice protest against zero-hour contracts and for £10/hr minimum wage – Saturday Nov 29, assemble 1.30pm Sheffield Cathedral

See NSSN photos of US fast food strikers who came to the UK last week here   more     more

BFAWU’s Foodworker magazine read here

Reports of Fast Food Rights protests on Youth Fight for Jobs website    and Fast Food Rights website

Please send details of any local actions to [email protected] / [email protected]  see BFAWU video





The famous pink NSSN £10 minimum wage t-shirts are still available. Email us to order – £8 each. We have the following sizes: women – small, medium, large, XL and men – small, medium, large, XL, XXL

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

Yorkshire NSSN Conference – Saturday November 22nd Cosmopolitan Hotel Lower Briggate, Leeds, Yorkshire LS1 4AE. 10.30am-3.30pm. Registration from 10am

Morning session – ‘Yorkshire Fighting Back’

Afternoon session – ‘The Fight for £10 an hour and fast food rights campaign’


Midlands NSSN Conference – Saturday March 14th 2015 Unite Offices, Birmingham download leaflet

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]



Union News


PCS steps up pressure against HMRC anti-union plot (18 Nov) – PCS is stepping up the pressure on HMRC over senior management’s anti-union plot by involving Europe’s largest federation of public service unions, the TUC and our parliamentary group. While we were trying to negotiate in good faith with the chief executive Lin Homer over our jobs and staffing campaign, a secret management document was brought to our attention which shows a plan to undermine and marginalise PCS. HMRC unilaterally walked away from talks aimed at resolving our ongoing dispute, and removed facility time from some of our most senior reps. On Friday we wrote to PCS members in HMRC and published a transcript of the secret paper we have seen outlining the anti-union plot by their employer. Now Jan Willem Goudriaan, general secretary of the 8million-strong European Federation of Public Service Unions, has offered to intervene on behalf of PCS and write to Ms Homer and there is a growing alliance willing to act for us, including TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady and our cross-party parliamentary group, chaired by Labour MP John McDonnell read more


UCATT / Unite

Parliamentary Lobby Against Umbrella Companies – UCATT and Unite are holding a joint Parliamentary lobby against umbrella companies exploiting construction workers Wednesday 26th November 2014 Demo 10.45am at Old Palace Yard Meeting in Committee Room 14 beginning at 12.45 read more

UCATT and UNITE will hold a joint demo and lobby at the Scottish Parliament, 26th November on the exploitation of building workers through Umbrella Companies – See more at:




Workers close down Carrington to stop blacklisting (Nov 18) – Construction workers protesting against the “blacklist,” used to punish workers in the industry for raising trade union or health and safety issues, shut the power station site at Carrington, Greater Manchester, on 17 November. Daz Muir and Neil Banks are being blacklisted and refused employment on this site. Daz is a rigger who was unfairly dismissed from the Runcorn Thermal Power Station project for voicing his opinion at a mass meeting during a health and safety dispute on the site. Neil is an electrician who was working at Carrington, but shortly after being transferred to another job he was sacked because of complaining about a health and safety issue. Neil has tried to get back on to Carrington but is being totally blocked. Protesting workers blocked the gate to the Carrington site and stopped the first coach. Some workers got off and joined the picket; others assembled at the gate before the first coach arrived. One coach returned to the car park, all the other coaches were cancelled and workers were held at the car park. The union conveners were stuck in traffic and so it was agreed the workers would disperse for the day. There is a strong suspicion that some union officials are still complicit in blacklisting union members. The attitude of some seems to be: keep your mouth shut and toe the line or you will not work again. But the struggles over the past few years show that the rank and file will not tolerate this. Further protests will take place if Daz and Neil are not swiftly employed. The fight starts here!  See photo

Four-day strike this week over staffing levels at profitable Portsmouth port (18 Nov) – Passenger and freight traffic at Portsmouth’s international port will be severely disrupted when 15 quay assistants stage a four-day strike this weekend in a dispute over staffing levels and annual leave. The quay assistants, members of Unite, the country’s largest union, will strike at the Portsmouth city council-owned port from 15:00 on Sunday (23 November) until 14:40 on Wednesday 26 November read more

Defence workers escalate strike action over real terms pay cuts (14 Nov) – Strike action at the cash-rich Defence Support Group (DSG) will be stepped up next week as over 800 members of Britain’s largest union, Unite begin a four day strike on Monday 17 November in an ongoing dispute over a one off non-pensionable one per cent pay rise. The group, which maintains, repairs and overhauls military equipment for the Ministry of Defence (MoD) faces being sold off to the private sector next year, and was hit by two days of solid strike action in October. The main sites affected by the latest walkout are at Bovington (Dorset), Catterick (North Yorkshire), Colchester, Donnington (Shropshire), Stirling and Warminster (Wiltshire) read more

Jaguar Land Rover in industrial action warning as pay offer is overwhelmingly rejected (13 Nov) – Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) was urged to get back around the negotiating table or face an industrial action ballot today (Thursday 13 November), after members of Britain’s largest union, Unite overwhelmingly rejected the carmaker’s pay offer and pension changes in a consultative ballot. 96 per cent across the company’s five plants rejected the proposed pay deal amid warnings that it fell short of expectations and failed to recognise the workforce’s contribution to last year’s profits of £2.5 billion and this year’s record breaking first quarter profits of £1 billion. Anger is also mounting over the dilution and threatened changes to the final salary scheme including £240 million worth of pension cuts, despite pension changes to the final salary scheme being agreed with the workforce two years ago read more



West End theatre: members’ vote starts this week (Nov 10) – BECTU members will start voting this week on a pay proposal affecting the 40-plus commercial theatres covered by the union’s agreement with the Society of London Theatre (SOLT). Technical, front of house and show staff working on the musicals, straight plays and other entertainment which make West End theatre such a huge and profitable attraction, will consider proposals hammered out over more than 12 hours at ACAS last week read more

Living Wage campaign continues across Picturehouse (Nov 6) – The campaign to persuade Picturehouse cinemas to adopt the Living Wage at all its venues continues. Today, backed by the TUC, BECTU has launched a petition appealing to all of the group’s customers to support payment of the Living Wage to the majority of the company’s staff who are paid much less than the Living Wage read more   sign petition here



See Blacklisting section for ‘Crocodile Tears’ Tour and GMB website


2 Day Strike At Woolwich Hospital Over Two Tier Workforce (Nov 17) – Further Two 24 Hour Strikes On Nov 24th And 25th At ISS At Queen Elizabeth Hospital Woolwich Over Two Tier Workforce In NHS. Failure to make offer at tripartite meeting is a clear message that those with the cash to resolve this aren’t as interested in settling the dispute as they should be says GMB. GMB members employed by ISS at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich will hold two further days of strike on Monday 24th and Tuesday 25th November in a dispute over a two tier workforce at hospital. These two days of 24 hour strikes start on 24th at 6 am and finishes 26th at 6am. These two days follow a 24 hours strike on 8th October. See notes to editors for previous GMB press releases on the dispute. GMB members employed directly by NHS will be on strike in the national pay dispute between 7-11am on 24th November. There will be a photocall at 9am at the main entrance to the hospital read more

24 Nov Ballot at Haribo Pontefract (Nov 17) – Ballot On 24th Nov At Haribo Confectionery Pontefract In Dispute Over Compulsory Working Over Christmas Period. Members have had enough of the company’s attitude of imposing conditions irrespective of what we have agreed, or what member’s family arrangements are says GMB. A ballot for official strike action will commence on 24th November for 270 GMB members employed by Haribo Confectionery in Pontefract in a dispute over compulsory working over the Christmas period. The ballot will be open for a 2 week period.  See notes to editors for a copy of the press release issued by GMB on 5th November on the dispute read more

Last Ditch Talks To Avert Jacob’s Dispute (Nov 14) – Last Ditch Talks On Monday 17th To Avert Dispute At Jacobs Liverpool Over Imposed Changes To Terms And Conditions Of Employment. Members hope that a strike can be averted although we are ready to press ahead with strike action if talks do not yield a settlement says GMB read more



RMT to lobby Minister and rail boss tomorrow over N-TPE (18 Nov) – Rail union RMT is to lobby rail minister Claire Perry over the threatened carve up of rail services across the North when she arrives in York tomorrow, with Northern Rail boss Alex Hynes in tow, for a presentation at the National Rail Museum in the City. The event at the National Rail Museum is scheduled to start at 6pm tomorrow Wednesday (19th November) with RMT promising a lively demonstration outside, assembling from 5.30pm, as part of the union’s on-going campaign against the threat to jobs, services and safety bound up in the Government and Rail North’s proposals for both the new Northern and TPE franchises read more

Staff at Waterloo Station strike over victimisation (14 Nov) – Following a massive vote for action, cleaners employed by Interserve, looking after the busy and internationally famous Waterloo Station in London, are to take strike action from Monday over a comprehensive breakdown in industrial relations relating to a whole range of fundamental issues read more   NSSN photos from picket line    More photos



UNISON anger at Cardiff council’s savage budget proposals (Nov 17) – UNISON members at Cardiff council have responded angrily to budget proposals being put out to consultation by the council. UNISON believes that if the council continues with their destructive policies, public services in the city will be beyond repair. The council are also expecting the workforce to pay for some of the deficit through further erosion of their terms and conditions, despite an assurance last year that the so called ‘workforce package’ was a one off measure which would be in place for a defined 12 month period. The package that the workforce were forced to accept included a reduction in their working week from 37 to 36 hours in 2014. UNISON was the only trade union to reject the package read more



Statement on Strikes in Haringey, North London – The dispute with Haringey schools has arisen as a result of a letter from head teachers stating that they will not co-operate with long standing arrangements for providing trade union facility time as long as Julie Davies remains the NUT’s local secretary. The Union cannot accept any interference by schools or the Council in decisions as to who should represent members read more



From London FBU: West Norwood protest Nov 25 – the fire minister, Penny Mordaunt, will be opening the new West Norwood fire station on Tuesday 25 November. Mordaunt has been guilty of the most shameless duplicity in her dealings with firefighters over recent weeks and is the person responsible for forcing through attacks to our hard-earned pensions. The FBU has called a protest to coincide with Mordaunt’s visit to West Norwood. We aim to ensure that she receives a loud and boisterous reception. Members are encouraged to attend the protest, in tunics, at 1300 hours at West Norwood fire station, 210 Knights Hill SE27 0QA (map here: https://goo.gl/maps/VSfuP) Members will understand the bitter irony in a Tory fire minister being asked to open a new fire station when her government has been responsible for massive cuts in the fire and rescue service across the UK.

Firefighters lost around £600 of pay due to the recent 4-day strike. The National Shop Stewards Network appeals for hardship collections to be taken to local fire stations in support of the dispute. The national FBU hardship fund bank account details are: Sort code 08-60-01 Account number 20034726 FBU solidarity & financial appeal Sign FBU pension petition

Lobby your MP on firefighters’ pensions details here

Lobby your council on firefighters’ pensions details here



Lambeth College votes strongly for action again! (Nov 18) – Dear colleagues As some of you will be aware, Lambeth College UCU members took 5 and a half weeks of strike action in the summer over the introduction of new contracts with much worse conditions, including a cut of 2 weeks’ holiday, extra 1 hour contact time, sick pay entitlement cut almost in half, and a lot more. Management at Lambeth College have made some small concessions as a result of the strike action but it has not been enough. So members have again called for a ballot over this issue and the result of the ballot, which closed at noon today, is 83% Yes for strike action, on a 58% turnout. This is a very good result and clearly shows, once again, that the branch is determined to resist the unnecessary undermining of their working conditions. Strike dates will be announced shortly. In the meantime, please send messages of support to the branch via Branch Secretary, Mandy Brown, at [email protected].

On behalf of the branch, can I thank everyone for the fantastic support and solidarity you have shown us in our dispute so far.

Best wishes Mandy Brown Branch Sec Lambeth College



Glyndebourne accepts 2% pay increase (Nov 14) – BECTU members at Glyndebourne have voted to accept a 2% ‘no strings’ pay increase, which will apply to both seasonal and permanent staff. The pay rise will come into effect on 1 January 2015 and reflects ongoing work by the Glyndebourne branch committee to represent the interests of their members read more




Other news

Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign: IPCC demo in London 14 November – see report and photos:  https://www.facebook.com/OrgreaveTruthAndJusticeCampaign


UNITED WE STAND – the story of Des Warren and Ricky Tomlinson and the Shrewsbury Pickets and the 1972 builders’ strike

A new play by Neil Gore

In 1972 tens of thousands of building workers won the first national strike in the industry for better pay and conditions. ‘Flying pickets left the contractors reeling. The Tory government and the large building companies wanted revenge, and the ‘Shrewsbury 24’ were put on trial in the following year.

‘Townsend Productions’ new play, UNITED WE STAND, follows in the traditional of their highly successful productions The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists and We Will Be Free!-the Tolpuddle Martyrs Story, and focuses on the true and still very current events that led to the imprisonment of building workers Des Warren and Eric Tomlinson (Ricky Tomlinson of ‘The Royle Family’). See here for dates


Blacklisting & Victimisation

Blacklist Support Group update – November 14th

  1. Police collusion with blacklisting







Undercover cops and the secret state workshop

Defend the Right to Protest Conference

Sunday 16th Nov


Conference speakers include: John McDonnell MP, Rob Evans (author Undercover), Helen Steel, Merrick Badger, Dave Smith

http://www.defendtherighttoprotest.org/wp- content/uploads/2014/10/timetable_rear_v2.pdf


  1. GMB Crocodile Tears tour

Councillor Sandy Palmer a former Tarmac / Carillion / NCS manager implicated in blacklisting of 36 workers was targeted this week see photo

Kenny Newton, Lee Fowler and Joanne Fowler represented


  1. Upcoming events

Construction national rank & file meeting

Saturday 15th November

Newcastle Labour Club

Speakers include: Frank Morris, Steve Acheson, Steve Kelly



Construction Safety Campaign AGM

Saturday  13th December 2014.

11.00am to 3.00pm.

Friends Meeting House, 6 Mount Street, Manchester, M2 5NS

Speakers include: Steve Acheson – Blacklist Support Group & Hilda Palmer, Greater Manchester Hazards Campaign


Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlCa8yQmZ70

Blog: www.hazards.org/blacklistblog

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



International (also see Labourstart)

Germany: Highly politicised train drivers’ strike read more


Diary (see & use false economy)


19 National student demonstration for free education and against austerity – assemble at Malet Street, London WC1E 7HZ 12noon

21 BFAWU lobby of Parliament

22 Yorkshire NSSN Conference – Cosmopolitan Hotel Lower Briggate, Leeds, LS1 4AE



1 Trade Unions Against TTIP – A Campaign for Trade Union Freedom meeting mobilising trade unionists for the campaign against TTIP, CETA, TISA and the new generation of “trade” treaties. 6pm Diskus Suite, Unite House, 128 Theobalds Road, London, WC1X 8TN https://www.facebook.com/events/728967470486256/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming

3 Leeds Youth Fight for Jobs branch meeting




PHONE 07952 283 558

EMAIL mailto:[email protected]


TWITTER – https://twitter.com/NSSN_AntiCuts


ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE