240: Celebrate 125th May Day

Youth Fight for Jobs is sending solidarity and May Day greetings in this week’s NSSN e-bulletin.

“May 1st is International Workers’ Day. This year, let’s make it £10/hr day! Youth Fight for Jobs, the BFAWU Bakers’ Union and others in the Fast Food Rights   campaign encourage trades councils to put raising the minimum wage to £10/hr (now TUC policy) at the heart of your May Day celebrations. We want to reach the entire trade union movement with that message. Young people are the future of the trade unions. Fighting for a living wage we can ACTUALLY live on & an end to ALL zero-hour contracts on May Day is hugely important. We want to organise the millions of young unorganised workers into a powerful united movement.”   Ian Pattison – Youth Fight for Jobs

If you haven’t already got a young speaker at your May Day events, please contact Youth Fight for Jobs by email: [email protected] or phone: 07766585543


Support the following May Day strikes and protests:-

PCS: National Gallery strike – stop privatisation & union victimisation – PCS members are striking again on 1 May, including a rally at 2pm against the privatisation of 400 visitor services jobs at the National Gallery. Members have already taken 22 days’ action…In a cynical attempt to intimidate PCS members working in the National Gallery, a key local PCS rep Candy Udwin was suspended just before the dispute began in February. Her unjustifiable suspension has already attracted widespread public and media attention, and the group office has received both messages of support and financial donations from the public as well as from PCS members, which have been passed to the campaign’s hardship fund. PCS is urging people to sign a statement to reinstate Candy which has already been signed by thousands of supporters. As part of the campaign we are also asking people to upload photographs to Twitter, holding #ReinstateCandy posters, to download and use. These are then being added to a photostream on Facebook read more

Unite: Second wave of strikes over Bromley council’s mass privatisation – Bromley council’s plans to carry out a mass privatisation of services are being challenged by members of Unite with a second wave of strikes. The selected strikes from 27 April to 19 May dovetail with the stand of the council’s Labour group which has accused the Conservative-dominated authority of being ‘openly committed to being a ‘commissioning council’ and to reducing the number of council employees from 4,000 to 300’. Unite’s selected strike action will hit libraries (27 April-30 April); the parks (5 May); strikes by all the branch members, except school staff, on 1, 7 and 19 May; and at the Astley care centre and the passenger services (13-19 May) read more

GMB: 8 days of strike action from May 1st if no progress at ACAS talks over Barking and Dagenham bins dispute (April 29) – Third Set Of Talks At ACAS On April 30th On Barking And Dagenham Refuse Drivers Pay And Safety Dispute. The next 8 days of strike are from 1st to 8th May and we will try again to resolve the dispute but there is no confidence in the Council’s commitment to this says GMB. GMB will be attending further talks ACAS on Thursday 30th April in an effort to resolve the dispute involving drivers in Barking & Dagenham Council Environmental Services over £1,000 pay cuts read more     Watch NSSN video of 1st strike

Unison: UNISON members who still work for Barnet Council (excluding schools staff) will be taking strike action on Thursday 30 April & Friday 1 May – The dispute will involves coach escorts, drivers, social workers, occupational therapists, lschools catering staff, education welfare officers, library workers, children centre workers, street cleaning & refuse workers, all of whom have made it clear they want to remain employees of the Commissioning Council  read more

RMT (supported by NAPO): May Day protest for sacked Sodexo union organiser – Transport union RMT will be organising a demonstration this May Day, International Workers’ Day, in support of sacked union organiser Petrit Mihaj. The protests will coincide with the official May Day march in London. Petrit Mihaj worked for global outsourcing giant Sodexo for 10 years, working in the catering department on Sodexo’s contract with London Underground. Following a high-profile campaign to organise the workforce, Petrit was subjected to disciplinary action and was eventually dismissed. The union successfully brought tribunal claims on his behalf, establishing that Petrit had been unfairly dismissed for his trade union activities. Despite the wins in the employment tribunal, union-busting Sodexo refused to reinstate or re-engage read more from RMT   read NAPO message of support

And the continuing indefinite Scotland Unite & Unison strikes:-

Please support Dundee porters: [email protected] Donations to Unite, 110 Blackness Road, Dundee DD1 5PB (cheques to Unite). Facebook: Support Ninewells Porters  Read more

Please support Glasgow Homeless case workers: email [email protected] Cheques to Glasgow City Unison 84 Bell Street, Glasgow G1 1LQ. Facebook: Glasgow Homeless Caseworkers strike  Read more


Find out the details for your local May Day event, see TUC website   London May Day demo May 1    Yorkshire & Humber TUC May 2   Cardiff May 2   Lincoln May 2   Scotland May 2-4   Kent May 4   or follow #MayDay2015 and # MayDay15 on twitter




‘Stop the union-busters!’ Advanced notice: this year’s NSSN conference, our 9th, will be on Saturday July 4th in Conway Hall in London. Confirmed speakers include Mark Serwotka PCS General Secretary and Ronnie Draper BFAWU General Secretary. Download updated leaflet

The famous pink NSSN £10 minimum wage t-shirts are still available. Email us to order – £8 each. However we only have women’s sizes left in the following: small, medium, large, XL

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

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


Unite launches campaign to tackle ‘Victorian’ work practices in Sports Direct (28 April) – Unite, announced today (Tuesday 28 April) that it was launching a confidential advice and support line as part of a campaign to confront abusive ‘Victorian’ work practices at Sports Direct and a culture of fear at the retailer’s Shirebrook warehouse in Derbyshire. The move follows last night’s (Monday 27 April) Channel 4’s Dispatches programme: ‘The secrets of Sports Direct’, which exposed a zero hours contract workforce in constant fear of losing their jobs with staff named and shamed over a tannoy for not working fast enough. It is estimated that only 300 out of the 5,000 plus workers at the Shirebrook depot actually have contracts with Sports Direct with the majority on zero hour contracts with two employment agencies – Best Connection and Transline read more

Tribunal victory for Unite rep blacklisted by construction bosses ‘draws line in the sand’ (27 April) – A Unite workplace rep, who was blacklisted by his employer Interserve Industrial Services because of his union activities while working at a power station at Runcorn, Cheshire, has won his employment tribunal (ET) case for unfair dismissal. Unite hailed this as ‘a great victory which draws a line in the sand’ for construction industry bosses who victimise union representatives. John Kelly, a rigger/erector who worked for three years at the energy-from-waste power station being built at Runcorn, was awarded a total of £3,253.11 by the Liverpool tribunal for unfair dismissal (£2,003.11) and damages for injured feelings (£1,250). The tribunal decided that as the work at Runcorn was coming to an end in July 2014, John Kelly – described as ‘a good worker with considerable experience’ –  was not offered work at the Capenhurst site, also in Cheshire, because he was a workplace representative and a member of Unite read more

Bradford bus workers’ strike (April 27) – Over 300 bus drivers, engineers and support staff in Bradford said ‘enough is enough’ and came out on a 48-hour strike on Monday 27 April that will have a massive impact on their privatised company read more

Northern Ireland Ambulance Service workers to join Translink in election eve 24-hour strike (April 23) – Northern Ireland Ambulance Service workers are to join Translink workers in a twenty-four hour strike in May, Unite union has confirmed. Bus and train workers are to strike for 24 hours on May 6 – the day before the General Election read more



Download NSSN leaflet supporting PCS from the government’s attacks: ‘Stop the union busters!’ here  MARK Serwotka PCS General Secretary to speak at NSSN conference on July 4th

Successful CSC strike week draws to a close (24 April) – Computer Sciences Corporation staff who administer armed forces pensions have been on strike all week over pay. Staff working for the billion-dollar US company on IT contracts and MoD pensions administration have completed five days of strike action. The strike began on Monday (20 April) and ran until today (Friday 24). Most of the 200 members are based at Kentigern House in Glasgow, with others based in Gosport, Hampshire.  They have been offered a pay rise of less than 0.5% for 2014/15, less than 9p an hour. Picket lines at Kentigern House were very well supported for the whole week, with between 25 and 35 members attending each day read more



RMT Calls May Day Bank Holiday Strike Action on East Coast (29 April) – RAIL UNION RMT confirmed today that is calling a strike of on-train staff members on East Coast out of Edinburgh Waverley over the unfair dismissal of a train manager colleague. The RMT member, Mark Doughty, was sacked for telling angry passengers the truth that they couldn’t access hot food on their long early morning journey to London due to a broken boiler and staff shortages. That honesty was trumped up into a charge of bringing the company into disrepute and resulted in dismissal. Despite the fact that following pressure from the union the company conceded to having a director’s review of the members case East Coast have refused to re-employ or re-engage. From the outset, RMT had made it clear that should East Coast refuse to re-employ or re-engage the unfairly dismissed member then the RMT would call strike action read more

Rail boss flights fuel anger as RMT begins balloting on pay (28 April) – Rail union RMT said today that the news that Network Rail senior managers have spent over a million pounds on business class international flights, with one flight alone costing over £4,000, will fuel anger as staff begin voting for strike action over pay and the threat to job security read more

RMT News April 2015 edition here

RMT to ballot for action over pay and conditions on DLR (27 April) – Rail union RMT confirmed today that it is to ballot for strike action over pay and working conditions on Docklands Light Railway in two separate disputes. RMT Reps have been involved in extensive in talks with Keolis/Amey Docklands management regarding the 2015 pay review and other issues including the shifting of the pay anniversary date. Following a series of meetings, the Company had failed to table a suitable pay offer and having noted the views of both reps and members, the RMT executive has taken the decision to conduct a ballot for strike action. RMT’s position is clear, all DLR staff deserve to be property rewarded for the hard work and commitment that they have shown to the company over this last year and that means receiving a pay award that increases wages in real terms as well as improvements to members terms and conditions. The ballot will close on Tuesday the 12th May read more

Fleet Members to be balloted for strike over ‘Fleet Core Work Agreement’ breach (April 23) – Correspondence has recently been received from the Company advising that it intends to employ two agency trainers at Ruislip Depot to undertake training for staff carrying out the Central Line Heavy Overhaul, which is a specific project over and above the standard training within LU Fleet. The Lead Officer wrote to the Company over our concerns that there has been no consultation over this issue and that the proposals are in breach of the Fleet Core Work Agreement and the Training Reorganisation agreement reached at ACAS. The Company responded stating that it does not believe there is a breach of either agreement or that it is necessary to consult with the Union over this proposal read more



Tata Steel Strike Ballot (April 28) – GMB Give Official Notice For May Ballot For Industrial Action Over Tata Steel Proposal To Close Pension Scheme To Future Accrual. Our members are determined to stand up for their pensions and they will now have the opportunity to show their resolve by voting for strike action read more

Redcar protest on undercutting on April 30th (April 28) – GMB welcome Labour pledge to make undercutting wages illegal as Teesside Workers plan further protest at Redcar site on Thursday April 30th. Enforcing law with unit with investigatory powers would help undercut workers at the energy from waste construction site at Redcar where workers being undercut by £5 an hour read more

Scottish Power Strike Ballot (April 27) – Strike ballot for 1,200 Scottish power electricity supply workers in dispute over changes to work practices and terms and conditions. These workers are at the front-line of maintaining power supplies and are outraged that long-standing, successful working practices are threatened in this way says GMB. An official strike ballot for 1,200 GMB and Unite members employed by Scottish Power Energy Networks in Scotland, North West England and North Wales opens on Monday 27th April 2015 read more

GMB Northern Ireland Transport Action From 1 May (April 23) – GMB members in Translink two weeks of industrial action short of strike in dispute over cuts to jobs and services in Northern Ireland read more



Union members at Royal Opera House to vote on strike action (28 April) – BECTU will serve formal notice later this week of a strike ballot at the Royal Opera House after today’s (Tuesday 28 April) talks at ACAS ended without agreement. BECTU had hoped that management representatives would take seriously the opportunity to avoid conflict at the venue following the overwhelming mandate (84% in favour) for a strike ballot posted by members earlier this month read more

ITV unions launch ballot for strike action (April 22) – A strike ballot at ITV gets underway today (Wednesday 22 April) with the distribution of ballot papers by independent scrutineers, Electoral Reform Services. Members of BECTU, the NUJ and Unite will all be voting as the unions’ continue their challenge to the company’s 2% pay award.  The unions will be urging their members to vote YES to both questions on the ballot paper dealing with strike action and action short of a strike read more



Fight for 200 Belfast jobs taken to Ageas HQ in Bournemouth (April 27) – CWU activists demonstrated outside the headquarters of insurance company Ageas in Bournemouth this lunchtime in protest over the company’s plans to close a call centre in Belfast with the loss of 200 jobs read more

‘Frustrating’ start to Crown pay talks (April 23) – Union negotiators are hoping for a “more collaborative and better prepared approach” from Post Office management at the next scheduled pay meeting after the company failed to put forward a formal pay offer at the first negotiating session this week read more



Teaching Unions and NGOs lobby Pearson AGM (24 April) – a number of national and international teaching unions and global justice NGOs will lobby* the Annual General Meeting of  the education and publishing company Pearson on today from 11am, at 8 Northumberland Avenue, London. Please follow the hashtag #tellpearsson for updates on the day. The global education market is worth $4.2 trillion. There has been an expansion in the number of businesses seeking to profit from this market. Pearson Plc is one such leading ‘edu-business’ with operations in over 80 countries. Pearson’s influence on governments, education policy and school life around the world is extensive, through direct lobbying and the funding of academic research, free-market think tanks and business lobby groups. We need to stop business practices that are harming children not only in the UK but around the world read more



Gate protests in Wales call for rethink on FE budget cuts (April 24) – Welsh FE members took to the college gates on Wednesday to protest ‘savage’ cuts being made across the FE sector. As Wales Online reported, UCU has calculated that the average college budget in Wales is dropping by over 6% in 2015/16, and estimates that over 1,000 jobs could be lost as a result read more

Furious university staff to strike over sackings of two colleagues (April 22) – Staff at Salford University will go on strike tomorrow in protest at the treatment of two colleagues who were put on forced gardening leave, sacked and refused any appeal. Three-quarters (75%) of members of the UCU who took part in the ballot, voted to strike over the sackings of the two union members, who worked in the School of Marketing and Student Recruitment. The pair, who were UCU members, had raised concerns about a restructure. They were placed on forced gardening leave the day before the new restructure was announced. Their contracts of employment were then terminated read more

Reinstate the Markeys: students join the campaign at University of Bolton – Students at University of Bolton have added support to our campaign to reinstate Damien and Jennifer Markey who were sacked by the university in what the union believes is a case of victimisation. You can read the student statement here. How you can help:
please sign AND share the joint UCU and UNISON petition and tweet using #wearedamo

email the vice-chancellor George Holmes and ask for the immediate reinstatement of Damien and Jennifer Markey: [email protected] please copy these messages to [email protected]

send messages of support for Damien and Jennifer to the regional office: [email protected]

join the rally being organised for Saturday 16 May – more information to follow



Unions issue Tata Steel strike ballot notice (April 28) –  UK steel unions – Community, GMB, and UCATT – have, yesterday, given official legal notice to Tata Steel UK Ltd about their intention to ballot their members for industrial action in their ongoing dispute over pensions. Unite, a fourth steel union, is expected to give notice in the next few days. Ballot papers will be posted to union members from Wednesday 6 May. The unions are urging their members to vote in favour of strike action and action short of strike action read more



April 30 Belfast Anti Cuts Protest (April 28) – The NIPSA Civil Service Group Executive Committee as part of the ongoing efforts to build public support against the cuts and austerity measures has called a protest at the front of Belfast City Hall on Thursday, 30 April 2015 from 12.30pm to 1.30pm read more

Education Sector Budget Cuts (April 28) – Action Short of Strike Action read more


IWGB / Unison

Support London Met! (April 27) – We received the following email from UNISON members asking us to support workers at London Met who are at the risk of severe job cuts. Please sign the petition to help Save London Met! read more



For reports from the April 15 Fast Food Rights global day of action – follow the following twitter hashtags: #fastfoodglobal #April15 #10Now #joinaunion #strikefastfood

A short animation including some researched facts can be found here

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

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

BFAWU bakers’ union General Secretary Ronnie Draper to speak at NSSN conference on July 4th



Other news

United We Stand

On Tuesday 5th May at 7.30pm, at the invitation of Bristol Community Unite, Townsend Productions will be performing United We Stand – a hard-hitting new play about the Shrewsbury 24 written by Neil Gore. The performance will take place in the Polish Club (50 St Paul’s Road, Bristol BS8 1LP). Tickets will be available at the door (£10 waged, £3 unwaged). Any profits from ticket sales are going to the Shrewsbury 24 Campaign.

Bristol Community Unite would like to urge members to take the rare opportunity to see this performance by a touring theatre group whose previous work has included a much-acclaimed dramatisation of The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists. United We Stand takes us back to 1972, when 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.

The play focuses on the events that led to the imprisonment of building workers Des Warren and Eric Tomlinson (Ricky Tomlinson of ‘The Royle Family’). It reflects the great tide of anger, which rocked the very foundations of the established political elite, examines the extraordinary political will of all the participants and shares the anguish of falling prey to a flagrant miscarriage of justice.

With today’s government still refusing to release official documents dealing with the frame-up of the Shrewsbury 24, and the stench of blacklisting in the construction industry growing by the day, United We Stand brings forward a class-struggle message which is more relevant now than ever before.

All profits from this performance will be donated to the Shrewsbury 24 Campaign.

Fraternally, Giles Shorter (Industrial Liaison Officer, Bristol Community Unite


The Accidental Activist

After killing off Margaret Thatcher in the controversial comedy Maggie’s End, Ed Waugh presents an anti-cuts comedy that shows there is an alternative to austerity. An anti-cuts comedy featuring sketches, songs and stand-up will tour the North East in the run up to the General Election more info



Blacklisting & Victimisation

Buy the book ‘Blacklisted: The Secret War between Big Business and Union Activists’ Author: Dave Smith and Phil Chamberlain. Blacklisted tells the controversial story of the illegal strategies that transnational construction companies used to keep union activists away from work. See the official trailer from ReelNews

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)


Blacklist Support Group Update 26 April 2015

  1. Ed Milliband speech to Scottish TUC this week:

“In days gone by, people didn’t have the right to join a trade union.

And were thrown out of work if they campaigned for better rights.

But today, we still have the odious practice of blacklisting.

Contractors, companies who block and blacklist those who have a history of trade union activity.

I will not tolerate that in the country I lead.

So that is why we will have a full inquiry that is transparent and public into blacklisting.

With one purpose and one purpose alone:

To put an end to blacklisting right across the United Kingdom.

And throughout the history of this movement, you have fought most of all for people’s right to work.”

Blacklist Support Group welcome Labour’s public commitment to a full inquiry into blacklisting. If Ed Milliband becomes PM in May, we will be knocking on his door asking for a full public inquiry and asking to be involved in drawing up the remit before it begins.


  1. Special Branch spied on union activists, General Secretaries and MPs at Wapping dispute



  1. Blacklisted book – Tour dates this week


Sun 26th  – Bournemouth – (1pm) CWU Conference with Billy Hayes & Trish Lavelle


Tue 28th – Liverpool

1pm – Workers Memorial Day event – South Piazza George Dock Building, L3 1DD


6pm – Jack Jones House, Unite offices

after-party Casa Club


Wed 29th

1pm – Liverpool – News From Nowhere bookstore

7pm – Leeds – Swarthmore Centre, 2-7 Woodhouse Square, Leeds,LS3 – with Pete Shaw, Sandy McPherson, Merrick Badger


Thurs 30th (6am) – Teeside, Wilton Centre, TS10 4RF – in support of the #PaytheRate protests https://www.facebook.com/events/1425729721061975/


Fri 1st May (7pm) – Kings Arms, Salford – with Colin Trousdale, Steve Acheson, Tony Jones, Graham Bowker

Book launch & May Day Celebration


  1. Blacklisting of construction workers in Australia



Blacklist Support Group

book: http://newint.org/books/politics/blacklisted-secret-war/

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

blog: www.hazards.org/blacklistblog

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



International (also see Labourstart)

USA: Flying Food Workers Deserve the LA Living Wage! read more

Belgium: RMT solidarity with anti-austerity strikes across Belgium read more



Diary (see & use false economy)




1 May Day (events will be taking place between May 1-4) London May Day rally & demonstration: May 1 assemble 12noon Clerkenwell Green download leaflet

9 Wakefield Socialist History Group meeting, 1-4pm at the Red Shed, Vicarage Street, Wakefield WF1.  The topic is THE STORY OF THE ILP -AND LESSONS FOR TODAY.  The speakers are Iain Dalton (Socialist Party) and Barry Winter (Independent Labour Publications).  The chair is Kitty Rees. Admission is free and there will be a free light buffet



20 People’s Assembly anti-austerity demonstration in London details here



4 ‘Stop the union-busters!’ 9th annual NSSN conference – Conway Hall in London

11 Durham Miners’ Gala details here

17-19 Tolpuddle Martyrs’ Festival details here




PHONE 07952 283 558

EMAIL mailto:[email protected]


TWITTER – https://twitter.com/NSSN_AntiCuts


ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE