NSSN 225: London Bus Strike / Defend Union Rights

January 13th London bus strike in video and pictures

Bus workers in Unite in London are taking historic strike action today (January 13th) – for one rate for the job across all 18 companies. Strikers know this might have to be just the start and are ready for a big fight, but what a start! Picket lines of 70, 100 and more, maintained all day. And the roads – gridlock before dawn.

London mayor Boris Johnson claims a third of the service is running but that’s complete rubbish – reports around the picket lines are that only 10% of the service is running, if that. Public support is really high – you know you’re in the vicinity of a bus garage well before you get there, from the horns and cheers. See NSSN video & photos

From Unite website: TfL and London mayor urged to intervene as over 20,000 London bus workers strike (Jan 13) read more


Meeting for busworkers to build the strikes (called by rank & file drivers)

5pm-7pm Friday January 16th

Lucas Arms 245A Gray’s Inn Road




Map here


From Italy: solidarity to London bus workers! We workers in local public transport and from the National Coordinating Committee of Local Public Transport Workers would like to express our full solidarity with your struggle. In Italy we are experiencing the same problems read more



Defending trade union rights

PCS:- Fighting the union-busters: An update on the measures taken to combat the government’s attack on PCS (12 Jan) – We have previously informed branches (BB/76/14) of decisions taken by the NEC in order to combat the threat to PCS posed by the government’s union busting tactics including the withdrawal of check off and the consequent severe reduction in membership income that will cause.

The NEC has agreed that:

  • The sign up to direct debit campaigns our first priority
  • Bold financial decisions are required, including PCS staffing reductions
  • National and group elections due in April 2015 will be suspended
  • ADC 2015 will take place on same basis as 2014
  • The NEC endorsed the sale of the Clapham Junction building.

These decisions are part of a strategic approach aimed at returning the union to a stable financial footing over a three year period and emerging from the current emergency situation as a stronger, even better organised union. This briefing provides an update and answers some of the questions that branches have asked about the decisions read more


Unite:- Tories’ plan to bounce Britain’s workers back to `dark ages’ (10 Jan) – Commenting on Conservative proposals to further restrict British workers’ right to strike, Len McCluskey, leader of Unite, said: “Yet again, the Conservatives line themselves up behind big business and against working people. “This latest threat will hit workers enacting their fundamental right to stand up for fair wages, to save our public services and defend their jobs and pensions. “The way to resolve such disputes is through negotiations – not to intimidate and silence by legislation. The way to improve turnouts is to modernise balloting, something trade unions have repeatedly called for but been ignored by the Conservatives who are determined roll back the rights of working people…” read more

RMT:- RMT slams Transport Secretary attack on workers’ rights (June 10) read more

FBU:- Conservatives plan to restrict industrial action an “assault” on workers’ rights read more

GMB:- Only 16 From 650 MP’s Got 40% Of Vote read more



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

Download the new ‘Join the NSSN’ leaflet here

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


Striking Barbour workers accept significantly improved offer (13 Jan) – Striking Barbour workers at the famous jacket maker in Gateshead will be going back to work after accepting a significantly improved offer following talks at Acas, their union Unite announced today (Tuesday 13 January). A majority of the workers, who had been on strike following forced changes to their contracts, accepted a deal which sees substantial increases in pay and day shift working for those with family and caring responsibilities. J Barbour and Son Ltd had given warehouse workers a ‘sign or be sacked’ ultimatum over changes that included the removal of the unsocial hours payment and the introduction of a requirement to work until 11 o’clock at night. But after four days of strike action in December and one week into a four week stoppage, management agreed to talks at Acas read more

Support the Gateshead Barbour 4-week strike (Jan 9) read more from NSSN website

Japan Airlines accused of provoking industrial action as cabin crew vote on strike action (9 Jan) – Unite, accused Japan Airlines of needlessly provoking industrial action today (Friday 9 January), as cabin crew working on the airline’s highly profitable Heathrow route served notice of their intention to ballot for strike in a dispute over pay. The strike ballot follows Japan Airline’s point blank refusal to discuss Unite’s proposals to resolve the dispute. The proposals, costing just under £2,000 more than Japan Airline’s offer, have been rebuffed by the airline which is instead seeking to impose a freeze in basic pay for long serving cabin crew. The company’s pay offer, rejected by over 82 per cent of cabin crew sees long serving crew at the top of the pay scale getting no pay rise, other than a £96 a year increase in London weighting. The lowest paid crew, on a basic wage of £9,000 a year, will only see their basic pay increase by £285 a year. The ballot closes on Friday 6 February read more



RMT steps up tube ticket office fight (13 Jan) – RMT steps up tube cuts fight with Central Line demo against ticket office closures. RMT Central Line activists, alongside community groups, will be taking the fight against the closure of tube ticket offices to the public this Thursday 15th January at 17.00 hours with a demo and petition signing outside Shepherds Bush Central Line Station. Shepherds Bush is one of the first Stations to have its ticket office to be closed and it is in line to be turned into a Tesco’s, depriving the local people and shoppers at Westfield of a vital ticket office facility that is still heavily in use and still supported by the public read more

Staff on Settle/Carlisle line to strike again on Wednesday (13 Jan) – Staff employed by the Settle and Carlisle Railway Development Company – providing at-seat catering on Northern Rail services between Carlisle and Settle – are to take strike action again tomorrow – 14th January – in a continuing row over compulsory redundancies. The action follows a rock-solid 24 hours of action on the 13th December which attracted wide ranging support and excellent media coverage for the RMT campaign read more   Strikers fighting redundancy on the historic Settle/Carlisle line out on the picket line at Appleby in Westmorland this morning (Jan 14)



STOP PRESS!! Essex firefighters and 999 control strike in fight against cuts – locked out three days without pay (Jan 14) – Essex firefighters and 999 control staff will begin strike action at 09.00 today (Wednesday) in their continuing fight against huge frontline cuts to the fire and rescue service in Essex…The series of short strikes – some only an hour long – have been called for 14, 15 and 16 January. The strikes would total 29 hours but fire chiefs have decided to lock out striking firefighters continuously for the whole three days so they can stop even more pay as punishment. That means fire chiefs themselves have decided to remove fire cover from the public continuously for the whole three days read more

Demonstration over Lincolnshire fire cuts as public consultation nears end (Jan 13) – Demonstration to get the public to take part in cuts consultation to Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Service: St Benedict’s Square, Lincoln High Street, Lincoln, LN5 7AR 11am, Saturday 17 January 2015. Firefighters in Lincolnshire are urging members of the public to take part in a consultation over £1.3M cuts to the counties fire and rescue service ahead of a demonstration this Saturday at St Benedicts Square on Lincoln High Street. Lincolnshire Fire Authority is consulting on plans to slash the number of frontline firefighter jobs, cutting the number of firefighters who respond to incidents and reduce service cover at night read more

Essex fire service set for industrial action (Feb 9) – Firefighters and 999 control staff in Essex are preparing to take industrial action 14 – 16 January in a dispute over frontline cuts and staffing conditions. Essex County Fire and Rescue Service (ECFRS) plan to cut at least 179 firefighters and control staff resulting in a 25% reduction in full time uniformed firefighters. The plans will see the number of wholetime firefighters serving at frontline fire stations further reduced. Firefighter numbers have already been reduced in Essex from 750 to 656 since 20 read more

Firefighters lost around £600 of pay due to the last year’s 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



Venue Change for GMB Public Meeting on Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Huntingdon on 14 January 2015 read more

End Two Tier Workforce At Sussex NHS (Jan 12) – GMB ballot members at Sodexo at Brighton & Sussex hospitals for £7.85 living wage as a step to end two tier workforce at Trust. Sodexo claim that they are not be able to sustain any such rises but have not supported this with any financial evidence regarding this contract read more

14th Jan Belfast rally for Water Workers (Jan 12) – Dispute in Northern Ireland Water on pensions enters fourth week after failure of talks last week at Labour Relations Agency. A rally will be held on Wednesday 14th January in Belfast for water workers facing proposals that will cost many members up to £100 per month read more this protest has been co-organised with NIPSA read more from NIPSA website

Talks to avert Nuneaton Academy dispute (Jan 9) – GMB call off planned protest as Nuneaton Academy agree last ditch talks on 13th Jan to avert dispute over support staff job losses. We will see how far we get with these talks and will be consulting with members about the next steps following the meeting read more



Staff at Sheffield College vote for strike action in row over jobs (9 Jan) – UCU members at Sheffield College have overwhelmingly backed strike action in a row over job losses. 86% of members who voted backed strike action and 95% supported action short of strike, which could see staff working strictly to contract and boycotting the systems being used by the college to target staff for redundancy read more

Lambeth College strike update (Jan 9th) – Lambeth College UCU are continuing their determined opposition to the introduction of new contracts with inferior conditions. This week’s 2 days of strike action has been very solid. We’ve had visits to the picket lines from UCU President Dr. Liz Lawrence, our own Dr. Colin King who was dismissed during the holidays, students and lecturers from UCU and the Students Union at the University of Arts, UCU member from City University, Linda Smith from the Fire Brigades’ Union, Lambeth Unison, to mention a few. Next strike days are Tuesday 13th, Wednesday 14th and Thursday 15th January. ‎If no resolution next week, we will move to indefinite strike action from Monday 19th January read more



UNISON police staff strike set for 23 January (Jan 13) – UNISON police staff members working in forces in England and Wales* are to stage a 24-hour strike starting at 07.00 hours on Friday 23 January unless a pay deal can be reached with the employers. This would be followed by a month of action short of strike action. UNISON members in the police service work in jobs such as 999 call takers, police community support officers, scenes of crime officers, fingerprint experts, financial investigators, detention officers, crime reduction officers, crime analysts, enquiry desk officers, trainers, criminal justice clerks, and a wide range of vital operational and organisational support roles. The initial strike planned for Monday 22 December 2014 was suspended to allow further negotiations between the union and the employers. The suspension also meant that the month-long ban on voluntary overtime was withdrawn read more

NHS England strike: Thursday 29 January 9am – 9pm (12 midday to 12 midnight for ambulance staff – GMB: 12 noon on January 29th and will continue until 12 noon on 31st January in England & Northern Ireland more)

24 hours on Wednesday 25 February

Work to rule:

Friday 30 January – Tuesday 24 February

University plan to squeeze wages sparks dispute (Jan 12) – UNISON has lodged a dispute with the University of Nottingham over plans to re-evaluate roles for its lowest-paid support staff that will see poorly paid workers’ incomes squeezed even further read more



Rally for Education 10 February – Join us and help ensure that support for the NUT education manifesto continues to grow as we near the General Election. The rally is a chance to hear from a number of high-profile speakers, including NUT General Secretary Christine Blower and children’s author Michael Rosen.

Date: Tuesday 10 February 2015

Time: 6pm

Venue: NUT Headquarters, Hamilton House, Mabledon Place, London, WC1H 9BD

Please confirm your attendance by emailing [email protected]



#jesuisCharlie NUJ flag placed outside Charlie Hebdo offices (Jan 11) – An NUJ flag was attached to outside of the offices of Charlie Hebdo, this morning, by a union delegation which will be marching alongside French trade unions and families of the murdered journalists in Paris read more



Dear Friends,

There’s been a significant development in BECTU’s campaign to win a living wage for all workers in the Picturehouse cinema chain.

A new branch of Picturehouse being opened later this year in West Norwood, south London, will pay its staff the London Living Wage. This isn’t a sudden change of heart from Picturehouse though. It’s the result of Lambeth Council responding to growing public concern and actually making the Living Wage a condition for granting the necessary planning permission.

This shows clearly though that it’s perfectly possible for Picturehouse to pay more to all its staff, not just those in West Norwood – they’ve made the business decision to pay more in the new cinema as they know full well that their profits will support it. And it makes their argument that other branches can’t afford the pay rise even more tenuous.

BECTU and our members across the chain are still working hard to push for living wages everywhere, and coupled with the growing pressure from Picturehouse’s own customers, this decision could be a significant moment in the campaign to rid the whole chain of poverty pay.

Can you help ramp up the pressure even more by sharing our ongoing petition with all your friends, family and coworkers?

Every name on the petition will be seen by Picturehouse as a potential customer who is concerned about their increasingly unsustainable position.



Thank you for all your support – It’s really making a difference,

BECTU Campaigns


BFAWU / Fast Food Rights

Newcastle launch of the £10now minimum wage animation:

Day of action – Saturday February 14th in Newcastle City Centre

Animation film show launch – Thursday February 19th

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



Other news

From Save our Services in Surrey (SOSiS)

Dear Friends and colleagues, I am just writing to remind you of two very important dates:

Thursday 15th January at 7pm – next SOSiS steering committee meeting (open to all) – 7pm at the Maybury Centre, Board School Road, Woking GU21 5HD. We will be updating on the Care Homes campaign and planning future activities regarding this. We will also be agreeing our ‘Charter’ for the May 2015 local and national elections.

Tuesday 24th February – Lobby the County Council – SAVE OUR ELDERLY CARE HOMES. This will be from 12.30pm till 2pm (Cabinet meeting starts at 2pm) outside County Hall, Penrhyn Road, Kingston KT1 2DN. We may be able to help with transport if you get in touch


New publication: Doing (and Making) History from Below by Gregg Shotwell review here

Gregg Shotwell is a long-time activist in the UAW.  Now retired, he is the author of Autoworkers Under the Gun: A Shop-Floor View of the End of the American Dream.  He blogs at <autoworkersunderthegun.blogspot.com>


Blacklisting & Victimisation

Blacklist Support Group financial appeal: the Blacklist support group is desperately short of funds, to continue the incredible work in 2015 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)


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

Blog: www.hazards.org/blacklistblog

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



International (also see Labourstart)

Turkey: 98 health care workers sacked for joining a union read more


Diary (see & use false economy)


17 Meeting on fighting Umbrella companies, zero-hour contracts and Swedish derogation 12.30pm-2.30pm Acklam Green Centre, Stainsby Road, Middlesbrough TS5 4JS

29-31 NHS strike



7 South East Region TUC is hosting a conference with the Anti-Academies Alliance at Congress House, London.  The theme is equity, equality and education: securing the future of a better state education for all.  Confirmed speakers include ATL leader Mary Bousted, Kevin Coutney of the NUT,  Natalie Bennett, leader of the Green Party, Professor Gus John, Bill Esterson MP, Zoe Williams of the Guardian and Jonathan Simons who leads on education for the right wing think tank Policy Exchange.  All welcome, but please register by phone 020 7467 1220



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