NSSN: Bulletin 63 - VOTE YES for action!

Report by NSSN
Published: 28/10/11

N30 update

Ballots are now going out in all unions proposing to take part in strike action on 30 November against attacks on pensions. UNISON’s ballot closes on 3 Nov call their hotline if your paper hasn’t been delivered. It is urgent to take part, discuss and encourage others to VOTE YES for action.

UNITE’s 160, 000 local government members start their ballot started earlier this week closing 16 November. Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “With the future dignity of millions of workers in retirement threatened, it is time to make a stand and vote yes for action on November 30. Public sector workers’ pay has been frozen while the cost of living soars. They face widespread redundancies, cuts and closures and now the government is coming for their pensions.

“Most public sector pensions pay less than 5, 600, with many of our members getting far less than that after years of dedicated public service. Women working in the public sector will be worst hit by the government’s plans because they make up the majority of the workforce with many on low pay. Half of all women working in the public sector retire on a pension less than 4, 000 a year.

“For months we have struggled to persuade ministers that a fair arrangement can be reached through negotiation and we will continue to do so. Unfortunately, ministers have refused to listen. They remain intent on forcing through their proposals. It is time to stand up and be counted in defence of public sector pensions.“ www.unitetheunion.org/news__events/latest_news/unite_announces_historic_mobil.aspx

See your union’s website for full details of the ballots and action (including those unions that have already taken action PCS, NUT, UCU, ATL.

What can you do?

In a union balloting:

Organise meetings in workplaces. Never be too confident that your members know the issues! Organise meetings in the community to explain why strike action is necessary; link up with the local trades council to do this with other unions proposing action. Unite is asking its members in sectors not in ballots to help leaflet hospitals, town halls and other workplaces to get the ballot out.

In a union not balloting support the strikes, take N30 off, consider walkouts, lunch-time meetings etc link up any current disputes.

Youth & those not working contact local workplaces, help leaflet and discuss strike, show community support. Email out, use social networking to get strike ballot info out and why strike is important, organise and attend local events.

SERTUC event to mobilise for 30th November.

Saturday 12th November, 10am - 4pm Congress House.

This is a good move by the movement to mobilise for N30. NSSN supporters are urged to attend to help counter efforts by the right wing to tone down the public display on N30 and lower expectations of further action. NSSN supporters can register online at www.tuc.org.uk/industrial/tuc-20161-f0.cfm/formbuilder/145/p/1.

Let us know of other regional events up to and including N30 itself.

The NSSN steering committee at the weekend agreed to propose escalating action after N30 to defend pensions and against cuts. Use our leaflet www.shopstewards.net/PDFs/NSSNOctsmall_2_.pdf to mobilise.


Vik Chechi update

Thanks to all those who have sent in emails. Vik, who is the Unison branch secretary at Queen Mary Westfield University in London, has been suspended. There will be a members meeting of the Unison branch today (28 October), after which we hope there will be a plan for a public campaign meeting and protest. Once it is set up, we urge all supporters in London to attend the campaign meeting, and we will let you know details as soon as we can. Please keep messages of support and protest coming in. Demand Vik’s immediate reinstatement: c.pearson@qmul.ac.uk and f.balkwill@qmul.ac.uk. Send copies to info@shopstewards.net.


RMT releases internal report exposing unprecedented jobs and safety assault on London Underground. www.rmt.org.uk/Templates/Internal.asp?NodeID=151420&int1stParentNodeID=89732

Bob Crow, RMT General Secretary, said:

“This document tells us everything we need to know about the operational strategy of London Underground - massive increase in fares alongside an unprecedented attack on jobs and safety.“Every single ticket office would be closed, stations left unstaffed and drivers would be thrown out of their cabs without a single thought for passenger safety.

“RMT will work with our sister tube unions and passenger groups on a campaign to ensure that this document and its proposals are consigned to the dustbin of history.


MORE THAN 300 cleaners employed by Carlisle Cleaning and Support Services on the Virgin West Coast Mainline contract took strike action on October 28 after voting by a massive 94 per cent for action on pay and union recognition. RMT members on the contract will also refuse to empty train effluent tanks or refill fresh water tanks between 18:00 on November 4 and 17:59 on November 6. Carlisle has also moved to de-recognise RMT on the contract in an attempt to undermine the collective strength of cleaners who provide a core service around the clock for 20 million passengers. A report of the action is here:


Construction Electricians
ALL OUT on Wed 9th NOV
Construction Industry National Day of Action LONDON
7am Pinnacle (near Liverpool Street)

At least five van loads of workers and many deliveries refused to cross picket lines at the Balfour Beatty Carrington Paper Mill site in Manchester on Wednesday. Protests also took place in Liverpool, Govan and Newcastle.

In London sparks protested outside Balfour Beatty Blackfriars Station before blocking roads through the centre of The City before arriving at Cannon Street and invading the Gratte Brothers site, where they unfurled a banner proclaiming “ALL POWER TO THE SPARKS“. When it was pointed out to the Site Agent that pay rates were being cut from 16 to 10 an hour, he replied “I’d put the scumbags on 1 an hour if it was up to me.“ So guess where the demo’s going to be next Wednesday at 7am? www.shopstewards.net/news.181.htm

Police have informed the union that if the London action continues, they will issue Section 14 Notices under the Public Order Act - which would effectively make any gathering illegal and allow for pickets to be arrested if they continued to protest after the Notice has been served.

There was a journalist and a photographer from the London Evening Standard at the protest this morning - not a single word in the paper. Nine weeks since it started - There is a complete mainstream media black-out on this story - wonder why?

Blacklist Support Group AGM

“One of the worst cases of organised human rights abuse ever in the UK“ So said John McDonnell MP in 2009 following the discovery by the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) of the illegal Consulting Association database containing personal sensitive information about 3200 building workers. There are currently plans for a High Court claim and a submission to the European Court of Human Rights. The current electricians pay dispute has demanded “End the Blacklist“ as one of its central themes throughout the campaign.

Whilst the unions UCATT and UNITE have taken most of the ET claims, the majority of the campaigning has been led by the blacklisted workers themselves under the banner of the Blacklist Support Group.

Blacklist Support Group AGM (supported by UNITE the Union)
Saturday 29th October 2011 11am till 3pm
Institute of Education 20 Bedford Way, Euston WC1H 0AL

Confirmed speakers: John McDonnell MP
Professor Keith Ewing (author of Ruined Lives report into blacklisting)
Gail Cartmail (Assistant General Secretary of UNITE)
Guney, Clarke & Ryan solicitors (Legal team for the High Court claim)
Plus: premier of the newly updated film: Blacklisted by ReelNews

PCS Will Continue to Fight Job Centre Closures

DWP has announced today the result of the public consultation over their proposals to close 22 Job Centres. Disgracefully management have decided to close all of them apart from just three, Edinburgh City, Banff and Old Swan, Liverpool.

PCS unreservedly condemns this decision. There is no business justification for closing these Job Centres. In fact, with unemployment increasing and the economy heading for recession, DWP should be expanding its services not cutting them and should be opening Job Centres not closing them. Lobby Parliament! This announcement makes the PCS Lobby of Parliament on 2 November more important and more timely than ever. The Lobby is a great opportunity to highlight this cause in Parliament and to secure the support of local MP’s in the campaign to keep the offices open.

PCS members in MyCSP are serving notice on the employer to start action short of a strike on 31 October. They will then support the action on 30 November. This follows no further progress being made in talks with management over the government’s plans to privatise the administration of civil service pensions bit.ly/oNQied. Our members in MyCSP are based in Basingstoke, Cheadle Hulme, Liverpool, Newcastle and Worthing. Please support members and send any messages of support to Natasha Burgess, campaigns officer natasha@pcs.org.uk.


MP John McDonnell has added his backing to sacked trade unionist Abdul Omer Mohsin who is going to an employment tribunal on November 7th asserting unfair dismissal and seeking reinstatement to his job with Sovereign Busses where he was Unite union convenor. Sovereign runs buses from Harrow and Edgware Garages. It is part of the French transport giant Transdev which also owns the London United bus company.

The Unite Union is providing legal representation for Abdul Omer at the employment tribunal which will be held on Monday November 7th at Radius House, 51 Clarendon Rd, Watford WD17 1HU and there will be a solidarity protest outside from 9. 00 10. 00 am. Contact Raymie Kiernan raymiekiernan@gmail.com 07920 403 766 or Abdul Omer Mohsin omermohsin2@yahoo.co.uk 07830 424 395

Jarrow March 2011- The Jarrow march is coming to a conclusion in the next week or so after 330 miles! We want to see as many NSSN supporters on the final demo in London but also greet the marchers along the route:

Friday 28 October: 7:30pm, social at the Black Lion pub, Northampton

Saturday 29 October: Demonstration, assemble Abington Street, Northampton (outside BBC), 12noon

Sunday 30 October: Marching between Northampton and Milton Keynes - We want to make sure that they receive a big show of support for their cause from the Milton Keynes area and so the Trades Council has arranged to meet at 4. 30pm at Wolverton Railway Station to join the March into Milton Keynes on the 30th October. Please encourage everyone you know to join this peaceful demonstration. This will be followed by a social at the Madcap Centre, Creed Street, Wolverton, Milton Keynes, MK12 5LY from 5pm 11pm. A bar will be available to purchase drinks.

Monday 31 October: Marching between Milton Keynes and Luton the march sets off for Luton from the Police Station situated at the Milton Keynes Central Shopping Centre at 10am. Luton’s Trades Union Council will join marchers as they converge on St George’s Square at around 4. 30pm. The Luton TUC will then hold an anti-cuts public meeting at 7pm on Monday at the Judith Blake Lecture Theatre at the University of Bedfordshire’s Park Square. Speakers will include Peter Kavanagh, Unite London and Eastern region secretary.

Tuesday 1 November: Marching between Luton and Hatfield - The march is set to reach Hatfield at around 4pm and the rally will be held at the Lord William Cecil Memorial Hall, French Horn Lane, from 7pm.

Wednesday 2 November: Marching between Hatfield and Barnet. Rally on arrival.

Thursday 3 November: Social at the Bread and Roses pub, Clapham.

Friday 4 November: 3pm, March from College of North East London (CONEL), Tottenham to Iain Duncan Smiths surgery in Chingford. Reception by Waltham Forest Unison at Waltham Forest Social Club, next to the Town Hall.

Saturday 5 November: National demonstration assembling at Temple Embankment, 12 noon, to Trafalgar Square. Bring your trade union banners!

STUC names and shames insurance giants who blocked justice for pleural plaques sufferers Public should be made fully aware of their insurance providers’ unacceptable behaviour

The Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) has named and shamed the five insurance giants who were responsible for dragging pleural plaques sufferers to the Supreme Court to challenge their rights to compensation. The move comes as asbestos campaign groups joined calls for the public to be made fully aware of their insurance providers’ unacceptable behaviour.


For further comment: Dave Moxham 07891026870

The week of auctions starts next Saturday 29 October- do you want to join in? There’s lots going on - auctions in various cities around the country are planned, and we’re starting to get publicity about the government’s policy to let private companies run all public services.

Latin American Workers Association

Saturday 29th October, 1:00 pm- 5:00 pm: Workers Rights workshop (in Spanish) Place: London South Bank University, Room L123B, * London Road Building, 100-116 London Road, SE1 6LN. *The building is number 12 on this map: www.lsbu.ac.uk/about/maps.shtml Price: FREE (please bring refreshments to share)

NSSN is supporting the occupations in the City of London and round the country.

Why not take the greetings of the NSSN to your local camp?