This year’s TUC Congress comes at a critical moment for the trade union movement. It will be the last before the new Tory (anti) Trade Union Act comes into force.
However, even before then, we have seen the Tory Press whip up a storm against two important disputes – the BMA Junior Doctors and the RMT on Southern Rail. It is crucial that Congress sends a signal that these struggles aren’t left isolated, particularly as there have been threats made that Junior Doctors could face disciplinary action if they strike again.
There should be emergency motions for the TUC to organise a national demonstration in support of the Junior Doctors and to defend the NHS and they should be invited to speak to delegates. There is mounting anger at the leaked Tory planned health cuts to bridge the £20billion funding gap. Over 3,000 marched in Thatcher’s birthplace Grantham last weekend to save the local hospital. If solidarity is given to the Junior Doctors, with a commitment to discuss co-ordinating strike action, a mass movement could be built against the NHS cuts, especially as we face a new weaker and more divided Tory government.
Of course, the crisis in the Tories has been deliberately masked by the attempted Blairite coup against Jeremy Corbyn. But a new mandate for Jeremy Corbyn can give workers confidence that it’s possible to fight and defeat the Establishment.
Congress takes place at the end of a summer which has seen a series of strikes, often on a small localised scale but importantly for the future of the unions, in new areas. Couriers in the new ‘Gig Economy’ have taken militant action at Deliveroo and UberEats, while migrant cleaners went out for 58 days.
No doubt, the political commentators will wax lyrical in Brighton about record low strike figures and yet again predict the demise of the unions. Unfortunately, this will be echoed by right-wing union leaders. But that would be to misunderstand the incredible industrial and political volatility that exists, underpinned by the catastrophe that faces workers and their families as a result of the economic crises since 2007 and the Tory austerity offensive.
Come to the NSSN rally on Sunday 11 September in Brighton before the start of TUC Congress. Hear from John McDonnell and support Jeremy Corbyn who will be speaking alongside militant union leaders and rank and file union activists who are involved in many of the disputes taking place Book your place through Eventbrite
NSSN TUC Congress rally: ‘Cameron Gone – get the rest of the Tories Out! #KeepCorbyn’ – Confirmed speakers: Labour Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell MP, PCS President Janice Godrich, RMT General Secretary Mick Cash, BFAWU General Secretary Ronnie Draper and POA General Secretary Steve Gillan
1pm Sunday 11th September Ashdown Suite in the Holiday Inn 137 King’s Rd (seafront), Brighton BN1 2JF Map
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1100714456673911/
Our London supporters are block-booking train tickets from London Bridge to Brighton on the day – £28 for four places and the RMT are booking a bus. Please email us via [email protected] or phone 07748534891 if you would like us to book tickets for your members.
NSSN national chair being interviewed on Sky News on September 1st in support of the junior doctors
North East NSSN public meeting: ‘Co-ordinate the strikes to fight the Tories’ #KeepCorbyn – Saturday 17th September 1pm Old George pub Newcastle
This is a video of the 10th annual NSSN Conference which took place on Saturday July 2nd in London on the themes: “Cameron’s gone – now get rid of the rest of the Tories! Link the strikes!’
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 is below
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]
BMA Junior Doctors
Strikes suspended September 12-16 but action continues read BMA statement
BURSARY OR BUST: Continuing the fight to save NHS bursaries https://www.facebook.com/NHSbursarycutsforum/
Southern RMT guards strike “solid and determined” again this morning (7 Sept) – RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said; “Reports from all locations this morning confirm that the strike action is rock solid and determined again across the Southern Rail network as we fight to put rail safety and access before the profits of the failed Govia Thameslink operation. Just a fraction of the £100 million in cash hoarded by this outfit could keep the guards on the trains, keep the trains safe and resolve this dispute. This action has been forced on us by the arrogance and inaction of Govia Thameslink and the Government who have made it clear that they have no interest in resolving this dispute or in tackling the daily chaos on Southern read more
RMT Demonstrates at Holyrood for Safer Scottish Trains (6 Sept) – RAIL UNION RMT confirmed today that it will be holding a demonstration outside the Scottish Parliament on Thursday 8 September as part of its ongoing campaign for Safer Scottish Trains. Activists will be assembling at 11am at Edinburgh Waverley Station before moving onto Holyrood for a protest outside First Ministers’ Question Time read more
TSSA Ballot Result Govia Thameslink Station Staff (2 Sept) – TSSA members vote in favour of Strike Action at Govia Thameslink Railway. Manuel Cortes, TSSA’s General Secretary, previously warned the dispute in GTR could spread to involve ticket office staff facing job losses with the closure or partial closures of 81 ticket offices. With a 45.2% turnout in TSSA’s ballot, this further demonstrates the level of anger widely felt among station staff members following GTR’s proposals to reorganise its station environment which raised safety concerns read more
Land Registry sell-off on ice after opposition (7 Sept) – The latest plan by the government to privatise the Land Registry has been quietly postponed, reports today suggest. The issue was due to be included in the neighbourhood planning and infrastructure bill going before parliament this evening but ministers have delayed a decision, the Financial Times reports read more
Met Police control centres face strikes by security guards (6 Sept) – Met Police control centres in London face disruption as security guards working for a private contractor set strike dates over pay. The guards who work for private company Engie are planning walkouts over four days in the coming weeks from this Friday. Night shift workers in Hendon and Bow will strike from 1am and 7am, with the day shift out between 7am and 1pm, on Friday 9, Tuesday 13, Friday 16 and Thursday 22 September
Show your support on picket lines in: Hendon – Peel Centre, Aerodrome Road The Hyde, NW9 5JE
Bow – Metropolitan Police, 2a Wellington Way E3 4ND
You can also:
Donate to our commercial sector hardship fund, account number: 20244707, sort code: 60-83-01
Send cheques to the PCS London and south east region, 160 Falcon Road, London SW11 2LN
Email messages of support to [email protected]
HMRC cleaners’ strike suspended as hours reinstated (2 Sept) – We have suspended a planned three-day strike by cleaners in HMRC offices in Merseyside after the company that employs them agreed to reinstate lost hours. Following well-supported action in July, our members across the six sites had planned a further walkout from Monday read more
Victory against insecure employment as Hackney bus escorts gain permanent jobs (7 Sept) – A victory against the insecurity of agency working has been won on behalf of 42 escorts on Hackney school buses who now have permanent jobs. Unite, the country’s largest union, took up the cudgels for the escorts, all of whom were employed via an agency – and many had been employed on that basis for over 10 years; with some for up to 16 years read more
Strikes until Xmas on cards in Weymouth bus drivers’ ‘poverty pay’ dispute (6 Sept) – The Weymouth bus driver ‘poverty pay’ dispute could continue to Christmas, after company bosses demanded ‘draconian’ conditions be imposed before arbitration talks could start. More than 110 bus drivers in Weymouth and Bridport, members of Unite, the country’s largest union, voted overwhelmingly to reject the pre-conditions demanded by First Hampshire & Dorset Ltd, as they would have ‘hobbled’ the talks – under the auspices of the conciliation service Acas – before they had even began read more
London bus workers strike after talks break down (6 Sept) – London bus workers at the bus operator Tower Transit are staging a second 24-hour stoppage today (Tuesday 6 September), over the imposition of roster changes and a failure by a hard line management to commit to constructive industrial relations read more
Post Office workers back industrial action over pension ‘robbery’ (6 Sept) – Members of Britain’s largest union, Unite working for the Post Office have voted strongly for industrial action over plans by bosses to close the final salary pension scheme despite it being £100 million in surplus read more
Unite stands shoulder to shoulder in solidarity with Britain’s Polish community (2 Sept) – Members of Unite’s Community section will be standing shoulder to shoulder in solidarity with the Polish community at tomorrow’s (Saturday 3 September) unity ‘march of silence’ in Harlow which follows the tragic killing of Arkadiusz Jozwik read more
“Three secondary moderns in every town” (6 Sept) – If anyone was in any doubt about the backward reactionary ideas at the top of the Tory Party, then today’s unintended confirmation that they plan to go back to 11-plus selection confirms it. Even Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw has called it ‘tosh and nonsense’, correctly pointing out that a “grammar school in every town” would also mean “three secondary moderns in every town” read more from Martin Powell Davies’s blog
Reinstate Kumaran Bose – sacked by Samworths! The NSSN is supporting the BFAWU’s campaign in support of Kumaran Bose who was dismissed for speaking out and for organising a union in his workplace read more Facebook group
UNISON launches first ever national strike across Scotland’s further education colleges (31 Aug) – UNISON members across Scotland’s 20 further education (FE) colleges will go on strike on Tuesday, September 6, as an autumn of discontent kicks off in the troubled sector read more on Glasgow Unison website College support staff in strike for pay justice
Support school support staff against pay cuts – Join teaching assistants Facebook Group here
Stop the sackings of union reps at London Met – #savelondonmet #saveourreps Yesterday (April 30) our branch chair Mark Campbell and secretary David Hardman were made redundant in what is an outrageous attack on their strenuous and tireless trade union activities defending jobs and education at London Met read more Sign petition Since launching this petition, the situation at London Met has now deteriorated further. University management have commenced a further round of compulsory redundancies that threaten the jobs of almost 400 academic and administrative staff – some one-third of all substantive university staff. They have also stated their intention to further increase the use of zero-hour contracts and reduce research to that which explicitly ‘generates a profit’. Please see details here
Reinstate Clive Walder – Clive Walder, a longstanding leading rep in the CWU was sacked last November after 38 years of service with British Telecom. Clive is chair of the CWU Birmingham, Black Country & Worcester branch. Last week, his Employment Tribunal was dismissed on a technicality after a claim by BT, denying Clive the right of a fair hearing. This is outrageous.
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
Nationalise Tata – support the Steelworkers
For latest developments, follow Facebook group
Ritzy ballot result to be considered by reps (30 Aug) – A vote on industrial action by members at the Ritzy concluded today, Tuesday 30 August. However details will not be made public until representatives have had a chance to consider members’ feedback at a meeting this Sunday 4 September read more
Dublin Bus strikes
United Voices of the World
STRIKE AT 100 WOOD STREET IS OVER! – After 58 days of strike action by the cleaners at 100 Wood Street have won their dispute. Read more on United Voices of the World Facebook Group and Website
#RightsNotGames Week of Action: September 4th-10th – This September DPAC will be using the interest surrounding the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio to draw attention to the cumulative impact of the cuts on Disabled people that are taking Disabled people’s rights back decades with attacks in every area of our lives from education to independent living to employment to income. Whilst we will not be protesting against the Games themselves, we will be using this opportunity to raise awareness of the increasing numbers of Disabled people whose access not only to sport and recreation but also to basic human rights such support to eat, drink and use the toilet is being taken away as a result of the cuts. Below are the events we have planned but please do organise your own and let us know so we can publicise read more
Firefighters Under Occupation, story of firefighters working in the Occupied West Bank – it is a film showing regarding the work of Firefighters in the Occupied West Bank. This film was made by Ciaran Gibbons and Jim Malone and supported by the FBU. The free showing will be taking place on Wednesday 14th September at 7pm at Hub67, Hackney Wick, E9 5HA. Refreshments will be provided and there will be the opportunity for a Q and A after the film showing
New TUC Courses
We are now recruiting for the TUC union reps courses for both North London and Essex. To apply click on any of the links below to direct you to the nearest courses in your area. I have also attached two flyers with details of courses just in case you may want to forward to other interested reps.
If you have any queries or wish to discuss anything regarding the courses you can also contact me on 02084423075
Jonathan Jeffries TUC
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 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)
‘Blacklisted’ book new edition & new ‘Blacklisted’ film both now launch at Greenwich conference
Its a conference
Its a book launch
Its a film premier
Its an art installation
(there’s an after-party)
Blacklisting, Bullying & Blowing the Whistle conference (co-hosted by Blacklist Support Group and Work & Employment Research Unit).
University of Greenwich
16-17 September 2016
The conference alone boasts john McDonnell as the keynote speaker alongside General Secretaries, QCs, leading academics and grassroots activists.
But all the added extras make it unique.
The conference is FREE but registration is required.
Donate to ReelNews – http://reelnews.co.uk/donationssubscriptions/
Montreal Old Port strikers reject wage offer read more
Tell the European Commission to ban glyphosate and get off the pesticide treadmill! read more
Australia: solidarity protest tomorrow – Carlton united Breweries (CUB) have sacked 55 maintenance and electrical workers workers who refused to accept a 65% wage cut. The unions representing them, ETU and AMWU, are having a day of action on 8th.To show solidarity, the comrades from RMT and the other unions are going to protest at the uk head office of the CUB parent company, SAB Miller, at 1 Stanhope gate London w1k 1af, this Thursday 8th September from 10am to 11am. Nearest tubes Hyde Pk and green Pk.
Come down and show your support for the most important industrial action in Australia this year! #CUB55 #BoycottCUB
Diary (see & use false economy)
10 6th Wigan Diggers’ Festival https://wigandiggersfestival.org/
11 NSSN TUC Congress rally ‘Cameron Gone – get the rest of the Tories Out!’ – 1pm Ashdown Suite in the Holiday Inn 137 King’s Rd (seafront), Brighton BN1 2JF https://www.facebook.com/events/1100714456673911/
2 Demonstration outside Tory Party Conference in Birmingham
5 National libraries, museums and galleries demonstration https://www.facebook.com/events/282708008768589/
PHONE 07952 283 558
EMAIL mailto:[email protected]
TWITTER – https://twitter.com/NSSN_AntiCuts
ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE