Initiated by the RMT in 2006, the Network has held 15 national conferences, each attracting hundreds of rank-and-file activists. The Network was initiated by the RMT and now also has national support from Unite, CWU, NUJ, NUM, POA, BFAWU, NAPO and FBU as well as many branches, trades councils, etc.
Shop stewards and workplace representatives from across Britain came together in July 2007 to launch the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN). The Network’s founding conference resolved to rebuild the strength of our working-class movement from the bottom up by creating local, regional and national networks to put elected reps and shop stewards from different unions in permanent contact with each other. We have subsequently held 13 further conferences, which have gone from strength to strength, as well as organising local events.
Organising mutual solidarity when trade unions are in dispute will be at the heart of our work. We will also share information to develop ways of successfully resisting attacks on our union rights, jobs, pay, conditions and pensions. We aim to build a movement that can help sweep the anti-union laws off the books and make them inoperable in the meantime.
Bringing new blood into our movement is vital so the NSSN will encourage younger workers, agency and migrant workers to join their unions, organise in their workplaces and become reps themselves.
What you can do?
Full membership of the NSSN is open to all elected trade union reps who are not national paid full-time officials: so if you are a shop steward, local rep, branch official, health and safety rep, trades council delegate or union learning rep, your place is in the NSSN as well as your own union. Of course, ALL union members are welcome to attend our meetings.
The NSSN does not interfere in internal trade union business, but seeks to strengthen confidence, democracy and accountability at all levels of all our unions. We seek affiliations from all official trade union bodies, from local branches to national unions.
We seek the co-operation and support of local trades union councils in building our network. In turn the NSSN can help revitalise dying trades councils and help to start new ones by putting known workplace reps in a town or city in touch with one another. While the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union played an essential role in founding the NSSN, several other unions including the CWU, Unite, POA, NUJ, NUM, BFAWU, NAPO and FBU have already supported us at national and regional level.