Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/615/8980

From The Socialist newspaper, 10 March 2010

National Shop Stewards Network

For undivided rank and file organisation

The steering committee of the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) met recently and discussed a number of important issues, including preparing for the national conference on 26 June.

Bill Mullins

It also discussed a resolution proposed by Rob Williams, the convenor of the Linamar shop stewards in Swansea. The resolution concerned the Right to Work (RTW) organisation which had recently had its conference in Manchester.

Rob made the point that RTW had been initiated by the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) and its allies and inevitably it would be seen as a rival to the NSSN. He said that even though NSSN had been in operation for at least three years, no one had come to it and said that there was a need for another rank and file organisation.

The SWP have never raised the idea in the NSSN of setting up RTW, even though they have ten members on the steering committee and two out of the nine officers.

The NSSN was set up in 2006 by the RMT, one of the most militant unions in Britain. It had its founding conference in 2007. Since then it has attempted to bring together workers at national, regional and local level facing attacks from the bosses.

It has assisted Ford workers in Southampton and GSK workers in Stevenage, both of whom were facing redundancies. It organised a national conference of workers in the car industry and recently organised a meeting in Teesside of Corus workers whose steel mill is facing closure.

As the resolution said: "The NSSN conferences attracted hundreds of shop stewards and workplace representatives as well as ordinary trade union members, and involved those leading from the front in serious battles with the bosses eg Lindsey, Linamar and Visteon. Workshop sessions involved migrant workers, young workers and students, women workers, and discussed fighting racism in the workplace.

"All were welcomed to participate, with a focus on shop stewards/workplace reps to establish some real weight to the organisation. This includes workers made unemployed, and youngsters in part-time jobs, a growing force, which will increasingly have to be taken up by the trade union movement generally and the NSSN in particular".

As other steering committee members said at the steering committee, if the SWP had at any time in the last three years proposed that the NSSN should widen its brief then this would not have fallen on deaf ears, but this has not happened.

Instead what has happened and will increasingly happen, is that the RTW organisation will look for support from the same trade union branches and workplace bodies that now give support to the NSSN.

The resolution made the point that: "This will only confuse the situation in the eyes of workers and has the potential to fragment the fight-back. We note that previous attempts of this character have failed, because, unlike the NSSN they have not been firmly rooted in the unions and workplaces, and have not been seen as an open unifying force."

This was referring to the SWP, in particular, setting up 'rank and file' bodies which have disappeared without a trace after a short time. One example of this was Organising for Fighting Unions, set up on the back of Respect, the electoral initiative.

The real reason behind the SWP's launch of RTW was given in their pre-conference bulletin in November 2009. They said: "We want to create and unite networks of resistance and solidarity".

In passing they dismiss the NSSN: "A welter of other initiatives exist... [including] the NSSN (launched in July 2007 by the RMT but now dominated by the Socialist Party, with the RMT's blessing)".

They later say that RTW "will not immediately knock aside every other campaign that is attempting to organise opposition to the recession".

The SWP have a track record of trying to dominate organisations and when they can't, they do their best to push them aside.

Socialist Party members in NSSN, which includes some of the best fighters in the trade union movement, will not let this happen. The NSSN should be allowed to develop as somewhere that ordinary workers, young or old, can come to get the support they need in the future battles against cuts, job losses and attacks.

The resolution moved by Rob ended by saying "this NSSN Steering Committee declines to accept the invitation of the offer of two seats on the RTW Steering Committee and urge all to channel their energies into the building of NSSN." It was carried by the NSSN steering committee by 19 votes to 10, with three abstentions. The 19 included someone - not in the Socialist Party - who reported that he went to the RTW conference in Manchester and found it to be a 'top down' organisation.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 10 March 2010:

Fight the cuts, not union members

Don't let Unison democracy go up in smoke!


Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Young voters need real change


Socialist Party feature

Michael Foot - the end of an era


Socialist Party news and analysis

Trades Council demo unites Brighton fightback

Riot cops attack peaceful Sussex students' protest

Police clear path for racist EDL thugs

Anti-war campaigner Joe Glenton gets nine months


Civil servants strike

Civil Servants Strike reports (updated)

Solid two-day civil service strike shows anger of PCS members


Socialist Party NHS campaign

Hands off our NHS!


International socialist news and analysis

Palestine: 'The Wall Must Fall!'

Chile earthquake: Natural disaster, state catastrophe


Socialist Party campaigns

Debate on women's oppression: Socialists propose solutions

Waltham Forest day of action: Socialists and trade unionists make a stand

Canvassing for support for socialists in Lewisham

Build solidarity with Sri Lankan Tamils

Solidarity with Yarl's Wood hunger strikers

National Shop Stewards Network: For undivided rank and file organisation

Justice for the Shrewsbury pickets


Socialist Party workplace news

London Underground signals victory

Leeds university rally

CWU to put Royal Mail deal to ballot of members


Socialist Party review

Tower Block of Commons


 

Home   |   The Socialist 10 March 2010   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

National Shop Stewards Network:

triangleUnite day of action against blacklisting

triangleMixed-fleet workers show strikes get results

triangleNSSN meeting brings together workers in struggle

triangleBirmingham: NSSN Solidarity Forum

triangleFood processing workers vote for action against miserly bosses

Shop Stewards:

triangleObituary: Derek Robinson, car workers' leader, 1927-2017

triangleStrike together for better pay

triangleTories weak: time for the TUC to act

triangleNSSN conference: workers' action to kick out the Tories

NSSN:

triangleTUC supports Birmingham bin workers

triangleNSSN lobby of the TUC 2017: rank-and-file solidarity to smash the pay cap

triangleBack the Brum bin strikers!

SWP:

triangleAfter the Unite elections - now turn outwards

triangleTUSC: SWP suspends participation in England/Wales

Socialist:

triangleBirmingham Central Socialist Party: The rise of Militant - lessons from our history

Socialist Workers Party:

triangleUnison attacks Barts deal after failing to ballot their members for strike action

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

16/12/17

Haringey

Blairite council 'all ears' to rich property developers

16/12/17

North West

Arriva bus drivers' action wins pay rise

14/12/17

Waltham Forest

Stop the rotten redevelopment plan, demand residents

13/12/17

London

Six months on - still no justice for Grenfell

13/12/17

Fracking

Movement growing against fracking giant Ineos

13/12/17

Devon

Totnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

13/12/17

Miners

Tory plan to hold dinner at coal mining museum defeated

13/12/17

Bradford

Bradford campaign to save children's services launched

13/12/17

South London

South London health bosses' cover-up

13/12/17

Blacklisting

Unite day of action against blacklisting

13/12/17

Brighton

Brighton victory

13/12/17

Newham

Newham anti-academies strikes

13/12/17

Tamil Solidarity

Tamil Solidarity and Refugee Rights activists meeting

12/12/17

Woolwich

Support the Crossrail Woolwich walkout

7/12/17

Blacklisting

Unite protest against blacklisting

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle16 Dec Blairite council 'all ears' to rich property developers

triangle16 Dec Arriva bus drivers' action wins pay rise

triangle14 Dec Stop the rotten redevelopment plan, demand residents

triangle13 Dec Six months on - still no justice for Grenfell

triangle13 Dec Movement growing against fracking giant Ineos

triangle13 Dec Totnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

triangle13 Dec Trump's incendiary Jerusalem statement reignites Israeli-Palestinian...

More ...

triangle18 Dec Leeds Socialist Party: Religion and Socialism

triangle19 Dec Bristol North Socialist Party: Christmas social

triangle21 Dec Wakefield Socialist Party: Socialists and the National Question

triangle6 Jan Socialist Party national women's meeting

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2