We headline this week’s NSSN bulletin with the tremendous news of victories for workers taking action.
Unite members in Bromley libraries have finally resolved their eight-month long dispute. They have been on indefinite strike action since November. Unite members also forced back attacks from management in Newham and Ealing. We send congratulations and solidarity to all these Unite members, as well as those outsourced workers at St Mary’s hospital in West London who are being taken back in-house after a three month dispute with the United Voices of the World union.
These wins show what is possible when unions take action and is a great advert for the importance of being in a union. The best way to celebrate is by supporting the many other disputes taking place and advertised in our weekly bulletin. Solidarity!
Unite: Eight-month Bromley library dispute ends with deal guaranteeing no compulsory redundancies, new posts and pay arrears (30 Jan) – The eight-month dispute at Bromley libraries has been settled, following an agreement between Unite and the employer, Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL), it was announced today (Thursday 30 January). The 50 library staff, who started their strike at the borough’s 14 libraries on 6 June last year, will return to work on Wednesday (5 February). The agreement includes new staffing structures being introduced and no compulsory redundancies. Agreement has also been reached on pay progression and arrears’ payments. Both GLL and Unite have stated that they share a wish to keep libraries open and maintain this valuable service to the public. Unite members began an all-out indefinite strike action in June 2019 regarding a number of issues, including staffing. During the strike action, GLL announced a new job structure which could have led to immediate job losses for current staff read more
Unite: Ealing parking strike suspended as Serco backs down on job cuts (30 Jan) – Members of Unite employed by outsourcer Serco on the Ealing council parking contracts have suspended strike action due to start tomorrow (January 31), after the company backed down in the dispute over job cuts. The strike action will not go ahead as planned. However the workforce could still strike on Wednesday 5 and Thursday 6 February if further progress is not made in the negotiations to finalise the deal. Under the initial deal agreed between Serco and Unite, the company has withdrawn its plan to make eight of the 60 strong workforce redundant. The workers’ terms and conditions will not be altered. In return Unite has agreed that a new rota system can be introduced. The new rota will form part of the ongoing negotiations as will agreement on the creation of new roles and how workers will fit into these positions. The workers had recorded a 100 per cent vote in favour of strike action read more
Unite: Council tax staff in Newham hail victory in grading dispute (30 Jan) – A dozen council tax benefit managers at Newham have hailed victory in their grading dispute, Unite said today (Thursday 30 January). Unite said that its members would now receive ‘a very significant lump sum’ – the exact figure remains confidential – and move to the top of the next grade on the pay scale. The dispute had centred on council bosses failing to properly implement a job evaluation scheme which had led to the managers being incorrectly graded. Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “This is a marvellous victory for our members which was achieved because they belong to the fight back union, Unite read more
United Voices of the World: Major NHS Trust forced to terminate use of private contractors (30 Jan) – Workers at St. Mary’s Hospital are celebrating a historic victory today after Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust announced it would in-house the entirety of its cleaners, caterers and porters within the next 2 months. Several hundred workers, outsourced for over 3 decades to global giants such as Sodexo and ISS across 5 hospitals belonging to Imperial Trust, will now enjoy the same pay and terms and conditions as NHS staff. The announcement marks the end of a three month long industrial dispute between the Trust and trade union United Voices of the World (UVW). Petros Elia, the organiser of the strikes and UVW co-founder said the following: “Today marks a huge victory not just for these brave workers, but for all outsourced workers in the NHS. Our members were told they would never win this fight, but with the full backing of UVW and mass picketing, blockades and occupations they’ve won against all odds. This victory sets a historic precedent which we hope other workers will follow in demanding an end to outsourcing across the NHS.” Read more
UCU announces 14 strike days at 74 UK universities in February and March (3 Feb) – Seventy-four UK universities will be hit with 14 days of strike action in February and March, UCU announced today. The action will start on Thursday 20 February and escalate each week, culminating with a week-long walkout from Monday 9 to Friday 13 March. The disputes centre on the sustainability of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) and rising costs for members, and on universities’ failure to make significant improvements on pay, equality, casualisation and workloads. The full strike dates are:
Week one – Thursday 20 & Friday 21 February
Week two – Monday 24, Tuesday 25 & Wednesday 26 February
Week three – Monday 2, Tuesday 3, Wednesday 4 & Thursday 5 March
Week four – Monday 9, Tuesday 10, Wednesday 11, Thursday 12 & Friday 13 March
UCU members at 60 universities walked out for eight days in November and December last year in action that affected around one million students. This next wave of strikes will affect another 14 universities and an additional 200,000 students, as more UCU branches crossed a 50% turnout threshold required by law for them to take industrial action read more
Come to these events: ‘Fight the new Tory anti-union laws! Support the strikes’
NSSN Coventry rally – 7pm, Thursday February 13, Methodist Central Hall, Warwick Lane, CV1 2HA. Speakers include Jared Wood RMT NEC
NSSN London rally – 7.30pm, Tuesday February 18, Indian YMCA, 41 Fitzroy Square, Bloomsbury, W1T 6AQ. Speakers include Unite assistant general secretary Howard Beckett and workers from current disputes, including: Unite Bromley library, PCS Ealing Tax Office, CWU Royal Mail, UCU HE and UVW St George’s University
Support these indefinite industrial actions:-
Support Westex Carpets staff strike – Westex Carpet strike reaches two month mark: Members of Unite at the Westex Carpets factory in Cleckheaton are about to reach the two month mark in their ongoing dispute over pay. The strike began on November 20th after workers rejected a minimal pay rise which was then withdrawn by the company, which has since refused further dialogue read more Westex Carpets ‘won’t win battle of wills’ as strikes head into ninth week after talks collapse (22 Jan)
To make a donation to the hardship fund:-
Account name – TGWU
Account number – 20175407
Sort code – 60/83/01
Reference – WESTEX STRIKE FUND
Support the Tayside Pharmacy workers – read more on Support Tayside Pharmacy Workers Facebook page
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. Feel free to use this affiliation letter
Date for your diary: 2020 NSSN Conference Saturday July 4th 11am-4.30pm Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, Holborn, London WC1R 4RL
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]
Follow us on twitter via @NSSN_AntiCuts and Facebook
Watch NSSN TUC Rally video
Sign petition: to The Mayor of London and the London Assembly – End the privatisation of cleaning at Transport for London
RMT on Northern being taken into public ownership (29 Jan) – BRITAIN’S MAIN RAIL UNION RMT has responded to news today that the Government have been forced yet again to mount a public sector rescue operation on a collapsed franchise – this time Northern – by demanding that the whole broken private franchise model be swept away and replaced by an integrated, publicly owned railway from top to bottom. Mick Cash, General Secretary of Britain’s largest rail union RMT, said; “Northern has become a signal for everything that is wrong on Britain’s broken, privatised railways and the fact that the Government have now been forced to take this action today will open the floodgates towards wholesale public ownership of our railways as other franchises fall like dominoes or simply choose to cut and run in the face of the inevitable. The return of Northern to the public domain, joining the East Coast Main Line, should not be seen as a short term fix and a holding operation pending another punt on another bunch of private speculators. This has to be a permanent move followed up with the investment and planning needed to deliver the rail services that passengers deserve after years of privatised chaos…” read more
Donate to the RMT strike fund on South Western Railway – The NSSN is appealing for financial support and solidarity for the RMT and their members on SWR, who have just voted to renew their mandate to take mote strike action. Send messages of support and requests for speakers for your union branch and/or trades council to RMT NEC member and SWR guard Geoff Kite – [email protected]
To make a donation to the hardship funds set up for RMT members striking against Driver Only Operation:-
National Dispute Fund:
Transfers can be made directly into the account using the details below:
Account name: RMT Head Office National Dispute Fund
Account no: 20113524
Sort Code: 60-83-01
Alternatively, you can send cheques to the Finance Department at Head Office – Unity House 39 Chalton Street London NW11JD
RMT Wessex DOO Dispute Fund:
Transfers can be made directly into the account using the details below:
Account name: RMT Wessex DOO Dispute Fund
Account no: 20399461
Sort Code: 60-83-01
Great start to month-long strike at Foreign Office (3 Feb) – There was a strong start to the latest action by cleaners, porters and maintenance workers at the Foreign Office in their campaign for union recognition with a busy picket outside the building in Whitehall. Shadow chancellor John McDonnell visited the picket line this morning to show solidarity and gave his full backing to the PCS campaign which began when we went into dispute with outsourcing company Interserve over terms and conditions in March last year. PCS secured a 100% “yes” vote on a huge turnout which secured the mandate for the latest bout of stoppages. And there was 100% turnout today. Members are defiant, despite Interserve claiming that the union will not engage in talks as Interserve has failed to respond to recent correspondence offering negotiation and requesting consultation. We need union members to show support for these members whose prolonged dispute is unseen in the Foreign Office’s history. We want union members to bring their banners for trade union solidarity days on 11 and 12 February. Picketing is taking place Monday to Friday from 7.30am to 12pm from 3–28 February. Parliamentary interventions and a march and rally are being planned:
You can support the strike in the following ways:
- Sign and publicise the E-action
- Donate to the PCS fighting fund
- Send messages of support to [email protected]
- Visit the picket line at Whitehall/King Charles Street, London, SW1A 2AH. Read more
Banners out in force in solidarity with Ealing strikers (30 Jan) – Trade union members came in number to Ealing with branch banners to support our striking HMRC members at a rally today. Our members, who work at International House in Ealing, are facing huge uncertainty as HMRC plans to close their office. They have held 4 half-day strikes so far this year to oppose the closure, as well as a series of walkouts last year. And members are striking all day tomorrow (31) to coincide with the tax return deadline. Shadow chancellor John McDonnell spoke at the noon rally and described the plans to close the office at International House as “wrong on so many levels” and accused HMRC of “making reckless cuts”. John told the crowd that he and the Labour party felt that the Ealing strikers had been “an inspiration” and that the government and department had been “short-sighted”. Four of the strikers also spoke with passion about the dispute. Banners were brought by branches from RMT, Unite, Unison, Ealing and Hillingdon trades councils.
What you can do
- Join strikers at 8am tomorrow on the picket line outside International House in High Street, Ealing
- Send a message of support to [email protected]
- Show support on social media, using the hashtag #SaveEalingTaxOffice
- Donate to the strike fund.
Support striking LGV driving examiners out in all weathers for PCS strike – PCS members, who are LGV driving examiners in the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, have held a week-long action before Christmas. This is a long-running dispute over working practices and restructures. Our members work in various driving test centres, across the country. Donate to the strike fund online using account number: 20331490, sort code: 608301, quoting the reference DVSA Strike Fund. Send your solidarity messages to [email protected]
Support Merseyside ISS members in HMRC – The members who clean HMRC offices in Bootle and Liverpool have been striking over low pay and poor conditions. The low paid members recently took six days strike action, in addition to previous action in September. Members are demanding a £10 per hour living wage, holidays and sick pay equal to civil servants, and improved job security. Picket lines in Bootle and Liverpool remained strong, with a majority of striking members taking part and support from UCU members who are also on strike. Meanwhile, the strike-breakers brought in by ISS have complained directly to pickets in Liverpool about the amount of work they are having to cover. You can help by donating to the strike fund and sending solidarity messages to [email protected] read more
Stink over Veolia’s broken pay promises could hit Tower Hamlets’ bin collections ‘imminently’ (4 Feb) – Bin collections and street cleaning services in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets could stop ‘imminently’ in a dispute over unsettled holiday pay arrears, Unite said today (Tuesday 4 February). Veolia, which holds the refuse, recycling and street cleaning contract for Tower Hamlets, has not settled a collective holiday pay claim despite reaching an agreement with Unite and other trade unions on the calculation of holiday pay in August 2018. Workers are owed up to £9,000 in holiday arrears from Veolia, which generated revenues of nearly £1 billion from in its UK waste management division during the first half of 2019. Rather than voluntarily paying all its staff the money they are owed, Veolia has forced individual workers to use the legal system to claim back the arrears, in what Unite said was an attempt to use ‘the prospect of complex and time-consuming litigation to put our members off claiming what is rightfully theirs’. Tower Hamlets’ residents are now facing the prospect of ‘uncollected rubbish and litter strewn streets’ because of Veolia’s refusal to cough up the back pay it owes, the union said. Around 250 Unite members who are Veolia refuse workers and street cleaners have been balloted for strike action today, with voting to close on 21 February read more
Cummins workers vote for strike action (4 Feb) – Unite the union has confirmed today (4 February) that its members at Cummins Engineering in Cumbernauld have overwhelmingly voted in favour of strike action. This comes following an announcement just before Christmas that the company would be closed. The action will result in strike, and action short of a strike, including an overtime ban, and is expected to take place from late February 2020. The turnout was 84.7 per cent with 100 per cent of workers voting for strike action. The Scottish government has offered financial assistance to keep the factory open through the development and production of hydrogen cell batteries. However, the company remains intent on closing the factory despite admitting it did not need to before autumn 2020, prior to the alternative plans being brought forward read more
St Mungo’s staff vote to strike in ‘race to the bottom’ row (4 Feb) – Hundreds of members of staff working for the homeless charity, St Mungo’s, are set to strike after voting by 83.7 per cent for action in a dispute over the reinstatement of ‘race to the bottom’ terms and conditions and a punitive sickness policy. Unite is calling on local authority commissioners of St Mungo’s homelessness services to put pressure on the CEO Howard Sinclair to return to the negotiating table for last ditch talks, warning that a strike by the union’s members could cause disruption to service delivery in councils across London and the south of England. Unite is open to talks with the conciliation service Acas, but has warned that the ‘offers’ on the table since the summer are not good enough and will need to be re-visited if progress is to be made. A meeting of Unite workplace representatives will take place over the next few days to decide the next steps. Unite regional officer Tabusam Ahmed said: “The last thing our members want is to cause hardship to vulnerable homeless people. But after more than a year of having their demands to be treated more fairly ignored, they’ve had enough. “This was a resounding vote against a heavy-handed and bullying management style. “If the strikes go ahead, the services councils rely on to support vulnerable, homeless people in their areas will be disrupted, but this is the responsibility of senior management…” read more
Exhausted London bus drivers facing race to the bottom as ballot for action to take place (4 Feb) – Unite has warned London bus operators not to engage in a ‘race to the bottom’, in degrading drivers’ conditions. Unite’s warning coincides with the union gearing up to hold a consultative ballot, of all London bus driver members, this Friday (7 February) over long hours, fatigue and exhaustion. If members vote in favour of industrial action then a full postal ballot will follow and could lead to mass strike action across London. The warning to bus companies not to engage in a race to the bottom follows the revelation that the East London Bus Company, which is owned by Stagecoach, is currently in the process of trying to force its drivers onto a rota where they will work five weekends in a row before having one weekend off read more
Transport for London workers begin strike over pay (31 Jan) – London faces disruption today (Friday 31 January) as essential TfL workers begin their first 24 hour strike, with further action planned over the coming months, in a fight back against a pay cut in real terms. Unite has accused TfL of botching this round of pay talks. The union is warning that unless TfL returns to the negotiating table the dispute could escalate with hundreds more TfL workers at Croydon Trams engineering, Victoria Coach Station and surface operations preparing for strike ballots. Around 300 workers employed by Dial-a-Ride and 300 TfL revenue protection inspectors, road transport enforcement officers and compliance officers will strike for 24 hours on 31 January, 28 February, 27 March and 24 April. TfL have bulldozed through a derisory 1 per cent pay increase for TfL workers which amounts to a pay cut in real terms. The workers are demanding that TfL increases pay above inflation (RPI) read more
Harrods security guards deliver ‘stonking majority’ in favour of strike action (30 Jan) – Members of Unite employed as security guards and CCTV operators at the Harrods store in Knightsbridge have voted for strike action in a dispute over pay and unpaid work. The workers returned a 97 per cent vote in favour of strike action on an 84 per cent turnout. The dispute is a result of Harrods’ management imposing a below inflation pay offer on the workers, which had been decisively rejected by members in a consultative ballot, rather than return to the negotiating table. The dispute also concerns workers’ opposition to being required to undertake unpaid work. Before each shift the workers have to attend separate location 15 minutes before they start work and stay behind after their shift to collect and drop off rotas, keys and DNA spray read more
Unite to ballot members working at Allied Bakeries in Belfast on strike action over pay dispute (Jan 30) – Existing pay offer from management is blasted as an insult to lowly-paid workers. Sean McKeever, Regional Officer, confirmed his union was proceeding to ballot its members in Allied Bakeries after the latest management pay offer was rejected by the workforce negotiating team. Allied Bakeries, with a manufacturing base on the Castlereagh Road Belfast, is a subsidiary of Associated British Foods plc – a major international business with a turnover of £12.3bn and close to 130,000 employees working in 50 countries. The company produces Sunblest, Kingsmill, Burgen and Allison breads read more
Bexley refuse workers to hold strike ballot over low pay (29 Jan) – Refuse workers based in Bexley – the London borough with the capital’s best recycling record – are to hold a ballot for strike action over low wages and a bullying culture. The ballot of about 120 refuse depot workers, who are employed by controversial outsourcing giant Serco, will open on Tuesday (4 February). It closes on Friday 21 February. On Monday (27 January), the refuse workers, members of Unite protested outside the Bexley council cabinet meeting over the authority’s contract with Serco which sees the workforce earning about £4 an hour less than their counterparts in Greenwich read more
Woolwich Ferry staff to strike for two days in pay dispute – Workers, who operate the Woolwich Ferry used by an estimated 2.6 million passengers a year, will stage two 24 hour strikes in their continuing pay dispute with ‘one of the worst employers in London’. The 56 workers who are employed by Briggs Marine Contractors Ltd, voted unanimously for strike action and have already held a day’s strike on 19 December. Ferry passengers will face further disruption when the workforce holds two 24 hour strikes, starting at 00:01 on Friday 28 February and then on Friday 13 March. Unite reiterated today (Monday 27 January) that there has been a long history of poor managerial practice by the company. The latest dispute centres on the failure to pay the London living wage (currently £10.75 an hour) on basic pay; the imposition of changes to overtime and shift working; failure to adhere to the agreed job evaluation scheme; and failure to deal with equality issues. Last summer, there were 10 days of strikes on similar issues, but that failed to bring a resolution. Unite re-balloted its members in the autumn. Two years ago, there was an acrimonious and long-running dispute at the ferry with the same employer, which runs the service on behalf of Transport for London (TfL), over a bullying culture and health & safety issues. Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “It is an understatement to say the management at Briggs Marine Contractors has a dismal record when it comes to employment relations over a number of years…” read more
Transport for London workers to strike over paltry pay – London faces travel disruption as essential workers employed by TfL prepare for the first of a series of 24 hour strikes, beginning on Friday 31 January in a dispute over paltry pay. Around 300 workers employed by Dial-a-Ride and 300 TfL revenue protection inspectors, road transport enforcement officers and compliance officers will strike for 24 hours on 31 January, 28 February, 27 March and 24 April. TfL is trying to bulldoze through a derisory 1 per cent pay increase for TfL workers which amounts to a pay cut in real terms. The workers are demanding that TfL increases pay in line with London Underground staff who have been given an above inflation (RPI) pay deal read more
Free parking for Hackney residents on cards when parking wardens strike over pay and safety – Hackney residents could have free parking in the borough when 40 parking wardens go on a week-long strike next month in a dispute over pay and their personal safety. Unite said today (Friday 24 January) that its civil enforcement officer (CEO) members, employed by Apcoa Parking (UK) Ltd which runs the contract on behalf of Hackney council, will strike on from 00:01 on Monday 10 February until 23:59 on Sunday 16 February. They voted by 81 per cent for strike action. A key issue is a claim for an increase to £15 an hour for the year starting in April 2020 – the parking wardens are paid the London living wage, currently £10.75 per hour. Unite is also concerned about safety of its members who have been attacked by irate motorists when doing their job in all-weathers. Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “We have had cases where our members are going out on the same rounds where they have previously been assaulted…” read more
Heathrow baggage could disappear into a void as baggage handlers strike over pay – Unite is warning that passengers at Heathrow airport whose baggage is lost, could see their possessions disappear into the void, as specialist baggage handlers prepare to take strike action over pay. The workers who are employed by Global Baggage Solutions Ltd are responsible for finding and repatriating lost baggage with distraught passengers. The dispute is a result of the company refusing to make a pay offer for 2019 and only offering an increase of 32 pence an hour for 2020. The pay offer was unanimously rejected by Unite members but the company refused to negotiate. Unite has called two four day strikes, the first will last from Sunday 2 February to Wednesday 5 February the second strike will be from 22 February to 25 February. Unite is seeking an increase in pay to ensure all workers receive the London Living Wage of £10.75 an hour and senior handlers receive a higher payment read more
BREAKING NEWS!! CWU Royal Mail re-ballot opens March 3rd and closes March 17th see CWU video
Support the CWU and the posties as union re-ballots in Royal Mail – The NSSN sends solidarity to the CWU as they move to re-ballot members in Royal Mail. As readers of this bulletin will know, the union overwhelmingly smashed the undemocratic voting thresholds in the Tory anti-union laws in their national strike ballot last October – a 97% vote for action in on a 76% turnout. Scandalously however, one unelected High Court judge dismissed the ballot and the action, planned for during the general election and the busiest time of the year for the company. Now after attempts by the union to resolve the dispute, they feel no option but to again ballot members for action. This comes at the same time as Boris Johnson’s tory government planning even more anti-union laws, targeted for now at least at the rail and transport unions. The NSSN pledges our full support to the CWU and their members in Royal Mail. Already, NSSN members are organising solidarity meetings to build support for the CWU, the rail and transport unions and other workers taking action. We encourage such rallies and meetings of the NSSN, trades councils and union branches – ‘An injury to one is an injury to all!’
Watch CWU video on re-ballot here
Join CWU Supporters now – The fight against exploitative employers, dodgy contracts and insecure work requires the support of every single community across the country. Our recent vote for strike action in Royal Mail Group was secured by connecting with our membership in every corner of the UK – both online and on the ground – click here to join
Tensions rising at Enterprise (Jan 24) – Frustration at the slow progress being made to find suitable redeployment options for nearly 200 ‘surplus’ BT Enterprise employees who’ve decided against taking voluntary leaver payments was palpable at a major branch forum on Tuesday read more
Support Unison members who work for ISS Facility Services at Homerton Hospital. ISS is the private company that runs catering, domestic, portering and security services at the hospital – Unless they have a supervisory position, none of the staff in this company are paid the current rate of the London Living Wage. Also, some staff have worse terms and conditions. Those who transferred from the previous company still have terms which are broadly comparable to NHS terms and conditions (sick pay, annual leave, weekend/evening enhancements). Those employed after 1st October 2015 do not. They only get statutory sick pay, less annual leave and a flat rate of pay whether they work unsocial hours or not. We are campaigning for fair pay and conditions for this group of workers. Their work is vital to the safe running of our hospital and they should have the same terms as NHS staff.
We are asking you to
- Sign and share our petition: http://bit.ly/fairpay4ISSstaff
- Tweet your support for us to @homertonunison @NHSHomerton @issworld
- Take a selfie with the attached sign and send it to: [email protected]
Please return any paper copies of the petition to the above email or Homerton UNISON c/o Education Centre, Homerton Hospital, London E9 6SR.
Please share this as widely as possible.
Thank you for your support.
Lorna Solomon & Pumula MacDonald Homerton UNISON branch committee
Support the ASDA workers and reinstate Michael Hunnum – 12,000 workers faced being sacked before Christmas by scrooge bosses ASDA, who are now owned by US superstore giant Walmart. This threat hanging over them was unless they agree to the new ‘Contract 6’ which will see them lose all their paid breaks and forced to work bank holidays. The same employer is sacking North East GMB member Michael Hunnam. Michael’s fight is part of the same struggle to resist the offensive of the ASDA bosses. Michael’s supporters believe that his determined opposition to Contract 6 is what has put him in the ASDA firing line. Support the ASDA workers and reinstate Michael!
Support the NEU sixth form college strikes – The NEU strike action campaign in sixth form colleges is continuing, with three further days of strike action in 34 sixth form colleges planned for Wednesday 12 February, Thursday 27 February and Tuesday 10 March (the day before Budget day). If you are branch secretary, please contact 6FC reps in your area and provide all necessary support. If you are a district secretary, please publicise the dispute to members in your district and encourage them to express support via social media whether or not they are taking part in the strikes. This strike action is part of our campaign to improve staff pay and conditions and secure the future of sixth form colleges. More information, including a list of striking colleges, is available here
Please find below details of forthcoming action. Please send messages of solidarity to the email addresses below:
|St Michael’s Catholic Primary School / Newham
|6, 12, 13, 25, 26, and 27 February 2020||Louise Cuffaro|
|St Bonaventure’s School, Newham
(Transfer of employer)
|6, 12, 13, 25, 26, and 27 February 2020||Louise Cuffaro|
|Burgess Hill School for Girls, West Sussex
|6, 26 and 27 February 2020||Ann Seuret/Anne Barker|
Staff at another 14 universities can join strike action (29 Jan) – The number of UK universities who could be hit with strike action this term now stands at 74 following a series of reballots in disputes over pensions, and over pay and conditions. UCU members at 60 universities walked out for eight days between Monday 25 November and Wednesday 4 December. Staff at a further 14 universities* can now join them after UCU members there backed industrial action and, crucially, met the punitive 50% legal turnout threshold read more for details
Anger at Goldsmiths’ restructure plans to cut frontline staff and recruit senior managers (29 Jan) – Staff have reacted angrily to a restructure plan at Goldsmiths (University of London) to cut the number of frontline staff and increase the size of the senior management team. The plans represent a third shake-up in 10 years after the university spent £1.3m on voluntary severance schemes in 2010 and £2.1m in 2015. UCU and Unison members at the college held an emergency meeting today (Wednesday) to discuss the plans, and called on Goldsmiths to work with them to address any financial challenges before sacrificing staff read more
Hovis Belfast Strike Suspended! – Following further negotiations with Hovis LTD management on 22/01/2020, the planned strike action of our members has been suspended for a seven day period in order to enable us to ballot on a significantly increased offer. Should this offer be rejected, the members will be called upon to commence action on Friday 31st January 2020 at 12.01am. The new offer is for a 1 year deal at 4% across all rates of pay.
BFAWU NI read more
Trainmaker TALGO recognises TSSA Union (3 Feb) – Following very productive talks at the end of last week at TALGO’s global headquarters in Madrid, TALGO UK and the TSSA (Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association) have agreed in principle to union recognition for its staff based in its head office and research and design centre in Chesterfield read more
Follow Grenfell investigation right to the top, firefighters say (29 Jan) – The Grenfell Tower Inquiry must look at the decades of deregulation that allowed fire safety at Grenfell to be undermined, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) said today in its opening submission to phase 2 of the inquiry. The union outlined three factors that rendered the UK’s regulatory regime as “unfit for purpose”, “facilitating the hazardous refurbishment” of Grenfell Tower and impeding the London Fire Brigade’s ability to respond effectively to the fire
Civil Servants will not be Left Behind (30 Jan) – As all political parties have acknowledged during the 3 years of the suspension of the NI Assembly civil servants stepped into the breach and continued to deliver vital public services and take decisions in the absence of politicians. It is now time for civil servants to be financially rewarded with an above inflation pay increase and a move towards pay restoration to make up for the past 10 years of meagre or no pay increases…Selective Action is commencing on Monday 3 February 2020 in certain areas of the Court Service. Court Clerks and Assistant Court Clerks in Laganside, Antrim, Ballymena and Coleraine Courts will be on strike on Monday 3 February 2020. On Friday 7 February the same group of members in Newry and Craigavon will be on strike. Further dates will be announced next week. I am sure you will wish to thank these members for taking this brave stand in furtherance of the dispute on behalf of the wider membership read more
Support the St. George’s University of London strike – St. George’s, University of London (SGUL), was rocked by a second week of strike action today as security guards entered into their 3rd day of strikes as they continued their struggle to be made direct SGUL employees. The strike took place amidst an ongoing campaign of repression by the Metropolitan Police and management at both SGUL and St. George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust who have repeatedly sought to criminalise lawful trade union activity by misinterpreting Section 119 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 read more
Upcoming strike dates:-
Round 3: 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th Feb
Round 4: 24th, 25th, 26th, 27th, 28th Feb
Picket lines are from 8am at the main entrance
NHS medical couriers landmark million-pound holiday pay claim to be heard next week (30 Jan) – The Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) will be facing NHS contractor The Doctors Laboratory (TDL) in a landmark holiday pay claim on 3-5 February. IWGB General Secretary Dr Jason Moyer-Lee will be representing 45 medical couriers that are claiming over £1 million in unpaid holidays stretching back up to 20 years. The case will be heard at the London Central Employment Tribunal. He will be arguing that the recent decision on King v Sash Window Workshop by the Court of Justice of the European Union removes previous restrictions on holiday pay claims when workers have been denied their right to paid holidays. This marks a transformative change for workers in the UK, who as a result of legislation introduced by the coalition government and restrictive interpretations by UK courts could, until now, only claim up to two years of unpaid holiday. If successful, the case could provide a new powerful weapon in the fight against the abuses of so-called “gig economy” employers and other exploitative bosses that systematically refuse to give their workers paid holidays read more
Blacklisting & Victimisation
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 t-shirts available at: https://shop.hopenothate.org.uk/component/hikashop/product/78-blacklisted-t-shirt
Turkey: Reinstate dismissed union members at SF Trade Leather! Respect trade union rights now!
Emergency solidarity protest – this Saturday outside Mulberry from 1.30pm – 8, North Piazza Royal Opera House Arcade, London WC2E 8HD
An important workers’ struggle is taking place in Turkey at SF Trade Leather and solidarity is urgently needed. It is a production factory for international brands such as Molift, Odder, Römer, Liko, Babybjörn, Volkswagen, Mulberry, Audi and Mercedes operating in Gaziemir İzmir.
In 2015 SF Trade Leather suspended 14 workers for being trade union members. Sacked workers, took strike action against the sackings and campaigned both locally and internationally for the reinstatement of the suspended workers. Campaigns and protests in front of international brands such as Mulberry supported by UK trade unions and campaign groups led to victory which resulted in the opening of negotiations between SF Trade Leather management and the Deriteks Union.
As a result of the negotiations, SF Trade Leather accepted the right of trade union membership within the workplace and a protocol was signed stating that mutual dialogue would improve. With this agreement in place the union decided to continue its membership campaign. Last summer Deriteks Union started to speak to and interview SF workers. Speaking to workers Deriteks Union noticed harassment and bullying behaviour towards workers was still an issue. In order to tackle the issue a workplace organisation committee was formed from the unionised workers with SF Trade Leather.
Soon after the initiation of this committee, lead workers and Deriteks Union members Ayse and Pinar were sacked from their jobs with immediate effect. Both workers were targeted with what they say are trumped up charges and accusations of “not performing” well. During the managers’ conversation with Ayse and Pinar, their involvement with the union was mentioned and they were told they were making the “wrong decisions” in their careers. They were also accused of bringing the factory into disrepute and endangering other workers jobs with their actions.
In addition to these two workers, two more women workers who are members of Deriteks Union, Nurcan Köksal and Sevcan Gulboy were also sacked with immediate effect. The four sacked workers were simply exercising their right to join a union, which is supposed to be protected under Turkey’s constitution. Their struggle and determination to get their jobs back has been a symbol of resistance in the Gaziemir Zone of Izmir which is home to many leather factories. The four women workers have now been on strike for more than 100 days with the support of the Deriteks Union. They continue to fight for their jobs and the right to trade union membership. A manufacturing company who is producing goods for many well-known international brands is in violation of international rules and workers rights.
The workers are calling for:
* Reinstatement of all sacked workers with immediate affect.
* Trade union recognition and the right to organise within the workplace.
* An end to harassment and bullying behaviour by the SF Trade Leather management.
Please support this campaign by contacting SF Trade Leather at:
Phone: +90 232 251 75 09
Fax: +90 232 252 25 15
General Manager: +90 549 732 29 09
Please send all messages to the attention of Mr Frederic W.C.Giraud (Owner of SF Trade Leather)
Social Media Campaign:
Please tag and share the share the attached photo/message using below
@AudiUK @AudiOfficial @MoliftGB @BabybjornUS @Babybjornuk
@ MullberryEngland @MercedezBenz @MBWorldUK @DecathlonUK
The NSSN supports Solidarity with the People of Turkey
Germany: Ameos fires workers and refuses collective bargaining read more
July 4 – NSSN Conference 11am-4.30pm Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, Holborn, London WC1R 4RL
September 13 – NSSN TUC Rally Brighton 1pm
PHONE 07952 283 558
EMAIL mailto:[email protected]
TWITTER – https://twitter.com/NSSN_AntiCuts
ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE