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NSSN launched in south of England
Trade unionists and anti-cuts campaigners from all over the South of England gathered in Bracknell on 18 January to launch the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) in the region.
Delegates from Southampton, Portsmouth, Reading, Aylesbury, Windsor, Bracknell and elsewhere gathered in an enthusiastic first conference.
Trade unions members attending included members from Unite, Unison, Ucatt, RMT, NUT and CWU.
Bracknell Unite hosted the conference and branch chair Terry Pearce introduced the main speaker, Rob Williams, national chair of the NSSN.
Rob emphasised the importance of building support for the looming campaign by London Underground staff to save ticket offices from closure.
He explained that central to our fight against austerity was the call for the TUC to call a 24-hour general strike.
RMT speakers from the floor explained the importance of the ticket office campaign in London and the fight to protect underground workers' jobs and wage levels.
Other speakers talked about the continuing fight to protect local authority jobs and services.
A Unite member and local anti-cuts campaigner outlined the successful fight to save Bracknell's hospital while a Unison speaker from Hampshire spoke of the need to increase union membership if fights to save local services were to be successful.
Val Pearce from Unite, when making a financial appeal, spoke about the history of the trade union movement including the miners' strike and the lack of support from the TUC and Labour leaders.
The financial appeal raised more than £65, which will be used to build the NSSN.
This is just the first step in building the influence of the NSSN in the South of England.
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