Socialist Party members help to build several trade union branches around the city. We always visit picket lines and protests to give support and discuss the way forward with workers fighting back.
We also work to build the National Shop Stewards Network, (NSSN)a body for the best and most active trade unionists to share experiences, build solidarity and co-ordinate action.
NSSN Solidarity Forum – 1pm-4pm Saturday October 21st, John Lee Theatre, Birmingham and Midland Institute, 9 Margaret St, Birmingham B3 3BS
On Saturday 21st October, The National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) will be holding a solidarity forum in Birmingham, to bring together trade union activists from across the West Midlands to discuss how we can link up the struggle against austerity in both the public and private sectors.
The NSSN is holding this public forum as workers look to fight the brutal attack on workers’ living standards by the employers and their Tory government that has caused a cut in incomes not seen since Victorian times. But the fightback is underway. The summer has already seen a whole number of workers on strike – including at Barts NHS Trust, British Airways Mixed Fleet cabin crew, Bank of England, Argos, Mears, Birmingham bin workers and of course the historic McDonald’s workers.
In addition, the RMT transport union has continued and escalated its action against driver-only operated trains, with coordinated strikes at four train companies. Also, the CWU is about to announce the result of its strike ballot of 110,000 workers in Royal Mail on 3 October, the first national ballot under the new undemocratic voting thresholds of the Tory Trade Union Act. It’s not lost on workers that this is now a weak and divided Tory government and confidence is growing.
There is even talk that ministers are considering ‘relaxing’ the 1% public sector pay cap. But the unions should beware of being split into ‘deserving’ and ‘undeserving’ public sector workers – we all need a pay rise. In any case, these rumours should give us the confidence to build a real movement that can inflict a serious if not decisive defeat on the Tories and their austerity.
Last month’s TUC Congress passed a resolution to “facilitate, organise and coordinate collective action and campaigns, including industrial action when required, on the part of affiliates to end public sector pay restraint across the UK… organise a national demonstration… take immediate steps to develop a coordinated strategy of opposition to the pay cap within the public sector, including the sharing and coordinating of bargaining timetables and pay demands, campaign activities, tactics, ballots and industrial action.”
But how do union members put this strategy into practice? PCS is launching a consultative pay ballot in early October to prepare for a strike vote over the next few months. What about other public sector unions? Can we link private sector strikes with the fight on public sector pay? How do we build solidarity for all the disputes? Come to our forum and take part in the discussion and debate.
1-4pm, Saturday 21st October, The Birmingham and Midland Institute, Margaret Street, Birmingham B3 3BS. All trade union members and supporters welcome.
Speakers include: Howard Beckett (Unite Assistant General Secretary), Richard Beddowes (Birmingham Binworkers Convenor), Paul Reilly (RMT National Executive), Jane Nellist (NEU National Executive), Royal Mail CWU Representative (invited)
The National Shop Stewards Network is supported by: