The crisis in the UK Steel Industry is continuing with another 1050 jobs threatened at Tata, with 750 to go at the biggest plant Port Talbot. Just today (Jan 20) Sheffield Forgemasters have announced 100 workers will be made redundant.
The NSSN gives full support to the workers in the industry and their unions. We support the call that many steelworkers are making – why can’t they be bailed out like the bankers who caused the economic crisis were in 2008? If Northern Rock and Lloyds TSB could be taken into public ownership, why can’t Port Talbot steelworks or any other plant and company that is threatened with closure?
The NSSN is hosting a public solidarity meeting in Port Talbot on Wednesday February 10th to build support for the steelworkers. It is at 7.30pm in the lounge at the Grand Hotel Station Rd, Port Talbot SA13 1DE (opposite the train station). Speakers include Rob Williams NSSN national chair & ex-Swansea Visteon (Ford) Unite union convenor.
It is open to everyone. We call on our supporters to organise meetings anywhere else that plants and jobs are on the line. https://www.facebook.com/NationaliseTATA/?fref=ts
Solidarity with the steelworkers – no redundancies, no closures, nationalise to #SaveOurSteel
Small Heath School, Birmingham: lift Simon O’Hara’s suspension – Simon O’Hara, an experienced teacher and the NUT Representative at Small Heath School, Birmingham was suspended from school on 7 January. As NUT School Rep, Simon has been active and effective in representing the views of NUT members at the school in opposing the school becoming an academy and to unreasonable management initiatives.
The Union is seriously concerned because the suspension is disproportionate and unjustifiable. The allegations do not warrant suspension and the employer could easily have investigated them with Simon in school. We believe that, but for his trade union activities, Simon would not have been suspended from school and indeed would be unlikely to be facing disciplinary action at all. Members at the School will be taking action against the change of status from 19-21 January. You are encouraged to send messages of support to David Room at [email protected]. A petition to defend Simon and to say ‘no to academisation’ of Small Heath School has attracted over 2000 signatures – please add your signature read more
Reinstate Clive Walder
The NSSN is delighted to announce that John Vasey a sacked CWU postal rep in Wakefield, West Yorkshire has finally been reinstated by Royal Mail (see CWU website). We now demand that Clive Walder gets his job back at British Telecom.
Clive Walder, a longstanding leading rep in the CWU had an appeal against unfair dismissal rejected by British Telecom on 9 November, confirming his sacking after 38 years of service. Clive is chair of the CWU Birmingham, Black Country & Worcester branch.
Clive worked in a BT call centre and was dismissed after an aggressive customer reported him to management just 33 seconds into a phone call. The decision was made without taking stress into account despite the local CWU branch reporting that 7% of staff at the call centre leave their jobs each month, some walking out mid shift. Management took the decision without consulting any medical advice or taking into account any mitigation.
Clive is a NSSN steering committee member and we will be supporting the campaign protesting the sacking and campaigning for his reinstatement.
Contact Clive to send messages of support and invite him to your union branch, shop stewards committee, trades council etc – [email protected] 07771931185
Defend the People’s Post sign the petition here
London Underground unions announce more strikes
ACAS Tube talks (15 Jan) – RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said: “RMT has joined with our sister unions in the talks on pay, Night Tube and station staffing at ACAS today. A further schedule of meetings has been agreed for next week and RMT will be attending those sessions and pressing for a fair negotiated settlement to the range of issues at the core of the current disputes.” http://www.rmt.org.uk/news/acas-tube-talks/
Tube union RMT have confirmed that its executive has agreed to a wide ranging programme of industrial action across London Underground grades in two separate disputes over pay and night tube and the plans to bulldoze through massive cuts to station staffing numbers early next month.
On pay and night tube ALL grades called out follows:-
- Fleet grades not to book on for any shifts between 18.30 hours 26th January 2016 and 18.29 hours 27th January 2016. All other grades not to book on between 21.00 hours 26th January 2016 and 20.59 hours 27th January 2016
- Fleet grades not to book on for any shifts between 18.30 hours 15th February 2016 and 18.29 hours 16th February 2016. All other grades not to book on between 21.00 hours 15th February 2016 and 20.59 hours 16th February 2016
- Fleet grades not to book on for any shifts between 18.30 hours 17th February 2016 and 18.29 hours 18th February 2016. All other grades not to book on between 21.00 hours 17th February 2016 and 20.59 hours 18th February 2016 read more
NSSN / Kill the Bill news
As expected, the Tory Trade Union Bill passed its 3rd reading on November 10th. It now goes to the Lords. But we must keep up the pressure and prepare for resisting it if it becomes law.
The NSSN supported the protest that the TUCG organised outside Parliament on the 2nd House of Lords reading of the TU Bill on Monday January 11th. We will be publicising protests on the 3rd reading. See video of PCS national Vice-President John McInally speaking on protest
The TUC have announced a week of action February 8-14 against the Trade Union Bill http://heartunions.org/. Watch out for any protests or meetings that week – or organise your own through your Trades Council, union branch, NSSN etc. A central part of the TUC week of action will be ‘The Big Workplace Meeting’ – where the TUC is calling on union branches and workplaces to come out of work together at 12.30pm on Tuesday 9 February and hold a meeting to discuss fighting the Trade Union Bill. Why not make it a protest and take action against the Bill?!!
Campaign for Trade Union Freedom Spring Rally – 6.30pm Thursday 11th February Mander Hall, NUT Hamilton House, Mabledon Place, London WC1H 9BD http://www.tradeunionfreedom.co.uk/
Rob Williams NSSN chair was interviewed live on BBC’s Daily Politics at TUC Congress watch here at about 30 minutes
Early notice – the 10th annual NSSN conference will on Saturday July 2nd 2016 in Conway Hall, London. Please put in your new diaries!!
Yorkshire NSSN Conference: Stop the Union Busters / Organise the Unorganised – Saturday, 5th March at Ebor Court, Skinner St, Leeds, LS1 4ND https://www.facebook.com/events/514766158692960/
The last two pink NSSN ‘£10 Now’ t-shirts are available for £8. Both are women’s large sizes. First come first served! Order by emailing [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:-
Download the ‘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]
More Union News
BMA / Junior Doctors strike
BMA suspends next week’s planned industrial action (19 Jan) – The BMA has decided to suspend next week’s 48-hour industrial action1. The decision comes as ACAS talks continue this week between the BMA and the government on the junior doctor contract…Significant, concrete progress will need to be made if future action, currently planned for 10 February, is to be averted.” read more
VIDEO: Defend Crown Offices – reunite the People’s Post (Jan 19) – Shock plans to outsource nearly 100 Crown Post Offices have been strongly criticised by the CWU, who have accused management and the Government of “blatant privatisation.” This morning, the company announced they are seeking “franchise partners” within the retail sector for 39 Crown offices over the next few months, with around a further 50 earmarked later in the year. And three Crown offices are set to close completely – two in Northern Ireland (Shaftesbury Square in Belfast and Antrim) and one in south Wales (Barry). In total, the cutbacks will impact directly on around 1,000 workers, who are set to face the choice of either redundancy, redeployment or transfer of employment (TUPE) to one of the chosen “franchise partners” who are expected to include WH Smiths see video here
Scots consider branch-wide postal strike (Jan 18) – Thousands of Scottish CWU members are being consulted on industrial action to enforce a Court Reinstatement Order, as Royal Mail management continue to flout justice. This morning saw postal delivery workers in Fife walk out for the second time in solidarity with their colleague, David Mitchell, who was unlawfully sacked by the business over a year ago on allegations which the Procurator Fiscal and Industrial Tribunal have declared as having lacked evidence read more
Tube workers to be balloted in defence of Glen Hart (18 Jan) – Further to my previous Circular (IR/261, 29th October 2015), the National Executive Committee has considered a report from the Lead Officer and also noted from the LTRC that there is strong support for Glen from our members across all London Underground grades and taken the decision to conduct a ballot for strike action and action short of a strike read more
Leeds Northern Rail Customer Relations Strike Rock Solid (15 Jan) – Leeds Northern Rail customer services strike picket line this morning as RMT members fight down-grading and attacks on working conditions. General Secretary Mick Cash said; “RMT salutes the latest rock-solid strike action by our customer services members in Leeds and it is about time that Northern Rail took this dispute seriously and engaged in genuine and meaningful talks. ”The solidarity and determination of our members in Leeds in this dispute is an absolute credit to the entire trade union movement.” read more
RMT begins balloting Tube Lines staff for strike action (15 Jan) – RMT begins balloting Tube Lines staff for strike action over pay and night tube. Tube union RMT confirmed today that it has begun balloting Tube Lines staff for both strike action and action short of a strike after a meeting of reps overwhelmingly rejected the latest pay and Night Tube offer which mirrors the rejected proposals from London Underground to its workforce. The ballot will close on Thursday 28th January read more
Help stop HMRC office closures (18 Jan) – We are asking members and supporters to help us stop HMRC’s plans to close all but a handful of its UK offices. In November the department announced it planned to cut its offices from 170 to 17, putting the future of thousands of members of staff at risk. In the south west of England, Bristol will be the only office after 2020 read more
Arriva Trains Wales strike (12 Jan) – ASLEF today announced that, in the light of Arriva Trains Wales’ failure to offer a satisfactory resolution to the long and ongoing dispute with its drivers, our members will withdraw their labour for 24 hours on Monday 1 February read more
Recycling bosses talking ‘rubbish’ in ‘same job same pay’ dispute, says Unite (14 Jan) – Recycling workers at Kier Ltd in Bath and North East Somerset are striking tomorrow (Friday 15 January) in their ongoing same job, same pay dispute. It is the second day of stoppage this week. The Unite members are staging a picket at Unit 4, Ashmead Road, Keynsham BS31 1SX read more
Oxfordshire County Council’s children service cuts sparks strike ballot (14 Jan) – Unite members working for Oxfordshire County Council will be balloted for strike action over the council’s plans to shut all of its 44 children centres and seven early intervention (EIS) hubs, including in the prime minister’s Witney constituency. Unite represents staff in the EIS hubs and will begin balloting members from Monday 18 January over the plans which put 420 highly skilled jobs are at risk. The ballot closes on 5 February read more
Firefighters to ballot for industrial action in South Yorkshire over loss of vital control operator jobs (15 Jan) – Firefighters in South Yorkshire will be balloted for industrial action in protest over plans which include cutting a quarter of all emergency control operators within the fire and rescue service and changes to firefighters’ leave arrangements read more
Stop cuts to London fire appliances – Stop the proposed closures of 10 fire stations, with the associated loss of 552 firefighter jobs,14 engines and 2 Fire Rescue Units. The public can take part in the consultation process online. Public meetings and an ‘online meeting’ have also been arranged. Sign petition here
The online consultation questionnaire can be found here: https://app.citizenspace.com/london-fire/operational-changes-for-budget-2016-17/consultation/intro/view
The remaining public meeting (beginning at 7.00pm and end no later than 9.00pm) is on Wednesday 20 January 2016 – Main Hall, The Old Town Hall, 29 Broadway, Stratford E15 4BQ. And an ‘online meeting’ will take place at the page below on 22 January between 12.30pm and 1.30pm. http://www.london-fire.gov.uk/consultation-2016-2017.asp
New Sheffield Waste Strike Ballot (Jan 15) – GMB Respond With New Strike Ballot For Sheffield Waste Workers After Worker Is Sacked For Speaking Out On Local BBC Show. We will defend our members and continue fight with this company until we get justice, a safe working environment and our sacked members back to work says GMB read more
Save London Metropolitan University – London Metropolitan University UCU are beginning balloting over threatened redundancies and the closure of the Aldgate Campus. The union is arguing for a two campus university model that keeps the Sir John Cass Faculty of Art, Architecture and Design in Aldgate, saves jobs and reviews the decision to cut courses. Please join supporters such as Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and take a photo of yourself with this poster, sending it to [email protected], and sharing with friends and colleagues. Defend the Cass: ‘Occupy The Cass’ is a collective group of students at London Met exercising our right to freedom of assembly and peaceful protest https://www.facebook.com/occupycasslmu/?fref=ts Sign the petition
Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS)
West Dunbartonshire teachers strike to defend education read more
Send the Teachers Trade Union a message of support at [email protected]
Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance (COPS) public meeting: ‘Voices of the Spied On’ – 6.30pm Thursday 21st June in Diskus Room, Unite the Union, 128 Theobalds Rd, London WC1X 8TN read more
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 – 19th January 2016
- High Court
Next hearings in blacklisting group litigation Thursday 21st – Friday 22nd January at Royal Courts of Justice, The Strand. The firms entire strategy is to try to avoid a high profile trial in the High Court. Not just because of the bad publicity or the millions they will have to pay in compensation and legal costs but because they fear the billions they could potentially lose in lost public contracts if they lose the trial (which they will). The firms are now trying to buy themselves out of a trial.
BSG would like to put on record our thanks to UNITE the Union for their offer of financial support for blacklisted workers that has enabled many more claimants to reject the firms insulting offers. The support of the UNITE national construction committee was crucial in this decision and we thank the comrades for their solidarity. BSG remain fully committed to continuing to a full trial. If the big firms manage to spend a few million pounds to avoid any legal sanction – that is not justice.
- Anfield Protest
Blacklisting firm Carillion have the contract to build the new stand at Anfield and the major hospital redevelopment in Liverpool too. Union activists have repeatedly sent in their CVs into both projects but with no responses.
The ‘Liverpool 3’ are proof that blacklisting is not something historical but is still going on today. Massive ‘thank you’ to everyone who showed solidarity with the protest jointly organised by the Blacklist Support Group and the Merseyside Construction Committee against blacklisting firm Carillion at Anfield on Sunday. Round of applause for Roy Bentham & the rest of the Liverpool comrades for organising such a belting justice event. Over 100 people attended and speakers on the day included; Sheila Coleman, Hillsborough Justice Campaign – Arthur Murray, Shrewbury Picket – Joe Rollin, Orgreave Truth & Justice Campaign – Steve Acheson, Blacklist Support Group (chair)
John McDonnell MP sent this message:
“I fully support the demonstration against Carillion taking place before the game against Manchester United on Sunday at Anfield. As a Liverpool supporter I want the club to urgently engage with the Blacklist Support Group who have been very vocal and loyal supporters to the club over the years. They have been unfairly blacklisted by Carillion and deserve a proper response from Liverpool FC”.
‘My name is Dessie Warren’ was performed by Ian Prowse
- Undercover police spying on activists
Carlo Neri is another undercover police officer who spied on in London activists during the early 2000s. Many of those activists appear on the Consulting association blacklist with information that appears to have been supplied by the police. Carlo Neri lived in the homes of some of blacklisted workers and even proposed to a female activist as part of his cover story. While all the time being married and directed by senior officers acting as his handlers. This is human rights abuse. 18 months ago during research for ‘Blacklisted’ book, activists held a meeting at the Guardian offices to discuss our suspicions. When the Undercover Research Group started to assist us last year, things really started to move. The methodical world class research by URG means that Carlo Neri is now finally exposed in the Guardian and Newsnight. Another nail in the coffin of the Spycops scandal. BSG send messages of solidarity to all the women that this police officer deceived while on his deployment.
Home Secretary Teresa May is now discussing with the Scottish government to extend the remit of the Pitchford public inquiry into undercover policing to cover the activities of Spycops in Scotland. This follows pressure by activists and debates in the Scottish parliament initiated by Neil Findlay MSP
Holyrood debate: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=7c5pL8VRTzU&feature=youtu.be
New website that publishes files released by Special Branch on activists: http://specialbranchfiles.uk/
Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance public meeting
Thursday 21st January
UNITE the Union HQ
- Defend Dave Smith and the Right to Protest
Dave Smith is facing criminal charges after his arrest during a protest against blacklisting of union members of Crossrail back in February 2015. Not a single director of the blacklisting firms has been disciplined or sacked for their role in the human rights scandal, let alone face action from the police. But when we protest against blacklisting, we get arrested.
Monday 25th – Tuesday 26th January 2016
City of London Magistrates Court
Next to Bank tube station
- Human Rights
Mary Alexander (UNITE) and Peter Hunter (Unison) gave evidence to the UK Joint Committee on Human Rights chaired by Harriet Harman meeting in Edinburgh this week. The committee is They raised Human Right Breaches relating to Blacklisting and Trade Union Bill, calling for the Committee to follow through on their recommendation made by Scottish Select Affairs Committee of no public contracts for blacklisting firms until they have self-cleansed and fully compensated the blacklisted workers.
- Glen Hart – RMT ballot over victimisation of union rep Glen Hart
- Reel News Financial Appeal
The video activist collective that has documented the blacklisting campaign and other workers struggles is desperately in need of £1200 to complete a film with Spanish trade unionists who were brutalized under the Franco regime. Any donations from union branches or generous individuals would be appreciated. If your union committee, university or community group does not already subscribe – why not?
Blacklisted book http://newint.org/books/politics/blacklisted-secret-war/
International (also see Labourstart)
Protest against the execution of journalists by Saudi Arabia read more on NUJ website
Lockout, dismissals, intimidation – serial rights abuses by New Zealand meat company Talleys/AFFCO read more
Diary (see & use false economy)
5 Yorkshire NSSN Conference: Stop the Union Busters / Organise the Unorganised at Ebor Court, Skinner St, Leeds, LS1 4ND https://www.facebook.com/events/514766158692960/
2 10th annual NSSN Conference in Conway Hall, London
PHONE 07952 283 558
EMAIL mailto:[email protected]
TWITTER – https://twitter.com/NSSN_AntiCuts
ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE