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3 December 2014

Reports from the NSSN bulletin

Firefighters block Tory minister

Over 200 firefighters and supporters blockaded the entrance to West Norwood fire-station, south London, on 25 November to prevent the entry of Tory fire minister Penny Mordaunt.

The protest was organised by the FBU firefighters' union to greet Mordaunt for the opening of the new station. The union wanted to highlight the hypocrisy of the government coalition's attempt to set up a feel-good publicity stunt while closing ten fire stations in London.

Despite a heavy police presence, the minister's car was unable to enter the station as it pulled up to the entrances. The driver was forced to roam the streets while police pushed back the firefighters, slipping in twenty minutes later to a din of whistles and jeers.

The minster's misery was further compounded when rank and file staff on duty at the station refused to meet with her.

A 24-hour national FBU strike over pension cuts is planned to start on 9 December at 9am. A national demo will take place the same day in Buckinghamshire, where FBU executive member Ricky Matthews has been sacked by the Tory fire authority

Construction workers lobby parliament

Hundreds of construction and transport workers attended a lobby of parliament on 26 November in opposition to sub-contracted 'umbrella' companies that ignore nationally agreed pay, terms and conditions.

The protest was jointly called by the Unite and Ucatt unions and supported by the RMT and GMB. There were also protests around Britain, including at the Scottish Parliament.

Before the London protest, workers protested outside the office of building firm JJ Rhatigan in solidarity with locked-out Irish construction workers who have been fighting poverty pay.