Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 30 January 2008

National Shop Stewards Network meetings


"It took just six mobile phones and two hours to get 21,000 prison officers on strike!" National executive member Joe Simpson's account of how the Prison Officers Association (POA) organised their 'illegal' strike had an inspiring effect on the 40 union activists that attended Yorkshire's regional conference of the National Shop Stewards Network.

He said that the POA were now coming outside the prison walls to link up with other trade unionists and local communities. A new 'triple alliance' could be forged with the Fire Brigades Union and possibly the Police Federation.

The POA is considering running election candidates against New Labour in marginal constituencies with big prisons.

Two of the 'Burslem 12' victimised postal workers, Paul and Dave, gave a passionate report of their 13-month struggle against bullying Royal Mail management. Paul said that they had been accused of being militant but "being militant is only getting what you deserve."

Their six-week strike, backed by a 1,500-strong solidarity demonstration and rally has ended in a partial victory which will give confidence to other trade unionists fighting victimisation.

Marion Lloyd (PCS NEC) explained how years of broad left campaigning in her union had resulted in a left leadership prepared to lead action, which in turn had resulted in growing union membership and more reps coming forward.

Workshops were held on 'Building the Shop Stewards Network' and 'The Public Sector Pay Freeze' and a small steering committee was elected to co-ordinate future NSSN events in the region.

South West

THIRTY FIVE trade unionists met in Bristol on 26 January for the founding South West regional conference of the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN). The vast majority were union reps and stewards belonging to a broad range of unions including GMB, Unite, RMT, CWU, PCS, NUT and FBU.

Domenico Hill, Unite rep Bristol and Socialist Party

Don Wood, from the Prison Officers Association (POA) national committee and Sally, a POA rep at Dartmoor Prison, spoke about their dispute against the government's removal of the union's right to strike. The government's intransigent stance means that there may well be further action following the mass walkout of prison officers last year.

Rob Wotherspoon, a CWU rep at Royal Mail in Bristol, summed up the experiences of last year's strike and the lessons to be drawn for the future. He confirmed that Bristol posties had voted 'no' by a large majority to the union executive proposal to accept the deal made with management.

He agreed that the union leadership had let postal workers down by calling off industrial action at the last minute. But he added that he thought it was a good thing that postal workers had stood up for themselves rather than caving in and that this was only 'round one'.

Socialist Party members argued that the NSSN should campaign for a one-day public-sector strike to bring together the various disputes that have flared up recently, and to call for decisive action to break the anti-trade union laws designed to cripple any union fightback.

The conference broke up into three separate meetings to discuss union work among migrant workers, how to build in the workplace and how to organise industrial action.

The broad range of unions represented at the conference shows that there is a growing frustration amongst rank and file trade unionists at the, at best passive, stance taken by most union leaderships. The NSSN has the real potential, if built properly, to start the rebuilding of unions from the bottom up as organisations fighting for the rights of working people.

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

In The Socialist 30 January 2008:

End this market madness

No more school closures!


Teachers' union calls strike ballot on pay

Anti-war protests save teachers

Labour councillors anger parents and tenants

Socialist Party news and analysis

New Labour attacking our vital benefits

Incapacity benefit cuts hit the sick

Hain resigns but stink of sleaze remains

International socialist news and analysis

Jail break from Gaza

Suharto: "One of the 20th century's biggest killers and greatest thieves"

US elections: The Barak Obama mirage

Socialist Party NHS campaign

NHS in crisis

Debt and Housing Feature

Debt and housing slowdown threaten Britain's time bomb economy

Socialist Students

Student elections: Not just a 'beauty contest'!

College students seek socialist ideas

Reality of London students' debt trap

More foo than fight as rockers agree to cross picket line

Marxist analysis: history

How Hitler came to power

Global Warming

Global warming, climate change and human activities - Part 2

Socialist Party workplace news

Burslem postal workers march back to work

Giving the real facts on Burslem strike

National Shop Stewards Network meetings

Police march for pay

PCS suspends strikes


Home   |   The Socialist 30 January 2008   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:

Shop Stewards:

triangleUnite day of action against blacklisting

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

triangleNSSN meeting brings together workers in struggle

triangleStrike together for better pay

triangleTories weak: time for the TUC to act

National Shop Stewards Network:

triangleNSSN pre-TUC rally

triangleNSSN conference

triangleMixed-fleet workers show strikes get results

triangleBirmingham: NSSN Solidarity Forum


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

triangleThe left unions and the Labour Party affiliation debate

triangleWorkplace news in brief


triangleFire service victory

triangleTrade unionists march to defend 650 local jobs

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns


Socialist Party

Socialist Party congress 2018



Strike continues: set dates for next national action


Socialist Party

Members dig deep into their pockets to support the party


North West

Campaigners continue to demand Chorley A&E is fully reopened



Swansea Labour council votes for cuts



Derby public meeting: Women's Lives Matter



Seeing-off the bigoted, billionaire toff!



Continuing the fighting tradition of working class women



Workplace news in brief



Leicester: Blairites block Labour Party democracy



Leaked pay deal: fight for a genuine pay rise



We feel that we will win - a striker speaks



Woolwich ferry workers win automation campaign



UCU strike: bosses on the run



Salford nurseries consultation delayed

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0191 421 6230

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551



Alphabetical listing

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018