The Return of the Strike!

The next couple of weeks will see a wave of strike activity in Bristol. There are many ways we can give our solidarity.

eyehospitalThe Junior Doctors will be undertaking a further round of strike action, this time without emergency cover on Tuesday 26th and Wednesday 27th April.the two days of action will will see picket lines, lunchtime silent protests (on Tuesday from 12 noon) outside hospitals and again on Tuesday a march beginning at 5:30pm from the Eye Hospital. Jeremy Hunt is being pilloried for his role in the strike, even looking to back down on his instruction to ‘impose’ the new contract. The junior doctors can win, and we must continue to show our solidarity. The local solidarity group has produced the attached leaflet.Please distribute widely and support the city wide march on the 26th.


Book competitionpic by Lloyd Ellington

140710 features

Book competition pic by Lloyd Ellington 140710 features

Support your local libraries. Mayor George Ferguson recently closed the Eastville library in Muller Road. Now the council are attacking the pay and conditions of library staff. They are taking strike action with picketing from 9am on Thursday 27th at the Central, Fishponds, Bedminster, Henleaze and Redland libraries in response. The stoppage will be followed by a “solidarity picnic” with supporters on College Green from 12 noon.

No to Forced Academisation of Our Schools

Last Wednesday Bristol NUT demonstrated at the Centre against forced academisation of schools. They now plan to hold a rally with the 4 NUT branches in the Avon area in the Lantern Room of Colston Hall at 2pm on May 21st. Invites to doctors to speak have already met with replies in the affirmative. NUT Executive member Anne Lemon and organiser of the rally has also approached the BMA to jointly call the rally. The well known writer and campaigner Alan Gibbons is also speaking, alongside (hopefully) local library representatives of Unison. A creche will be available. As with the doctors, the government appears to be on the verge of backing down, with Secretary of State Nicky Morgan beginning to eat her words. Lets support the teachers and keep up the pressure.

Trade Union Convoy to Calais 

Stand Up To Racism, the Stop the War Coalition, the Peoples Assembly and many trade unions are supporting the Convoy to Calais to deliver solidarity to the refugee camp on June 18th. calaisconvoyThe local SUTR meeting , 630pm, Hamilton House on Monday 25th April, will be co-ordinating convoy solidarity from Bristol. Following the tragedy of a further 500 plus deaths of refugees off the coast of Libya last weekend it is vital that solidarity work is undertaken in workplaces by trade unions.


New Year Strikes!

Junior Doctors

Please see attached appeal from Junior Doctors who are due to take strike action against the Government’s attempts to impose a new unsafe contract. The strike is due to take place on Tuesday January 12th with pickets at all major hospitals.

The action will begin with an emergency care-only model, which would see junior doctors provide the same level of service that happens in their given speciality, hospital or GP practice on Christmas Day. It will then escalate to full walk-outs. The action as proposed is:

Emergency care only — 24 hrs from 8am Tuesday 12 January to 8am Wednesday 13 January

Emergency care only — 48 hrs from 8am Tuesday 26th January to 8am Thursday 28 January

Full withdrawal of labour — from 8am to 5pm Wednesday 10th February

Teachers Strike at John Cabot School

Teachers at John Cabot School in Kingswood are due to go on strike next week on Tuesday January 12th against heavy workloads. The 70 teachers at the school are members of the NAS/UWT and the NUT. The one day strike next uesday is due to be followed by further walkouts on the following two weeks unless the dispute is resolved. 

See Bristol Post report here.

Support the Junior Doctors!

juniordoctors​Bristol pre-Strike Rally in support of the junior doctors’ strike (begins December 1st) and a safer NHS! Called by Bristol Unite Health Branch. Sponsored by UNITE Bristol Area Finance & Legal Branch, North Somerset NUT, Unison Concorde Health branch, Bristol University UCU branch, Protect our NHS, Bristol Unite the Resistance, Bristol Against the Trade Union Bill. All welcome to come and hear junior doctors from Bristol’s hospitals present their case. As well as junior doctors the rally will also hear from Sandy Nicoll, recently reinstated as Unison representative at SOAS, University of London, and Dr. Jackie Turner (BMA and Unite medical practitioners).

Lecture Theatre 1.4, University of Bristol Medical School, 31-37 St Michaels Hill, BS2 8DZ
7pm Monday November 30th
“Thanks all for your support!
If you would like to come along and support us on the first day of industrial action (Tuesday 1st), we would love to see you at the picket lines and also at our Meet The Doctors events – these will be happening at Millennium Square fountains, Broadmead, Clifton Triangle, Turbo Island (Stokes Croft), North Street (and possibly Cabot and Cribbs Causeway if we get permission).”

Defend our Unions: Resist the Anti Trade Union Laws!

7pm, Youth Hostel Association (top floor), 14 Narrow Quay, BS1 4QA

The Tories know that if they are to force through five more years of austerity, they have to take out their biggest potential source of opposition—the trade union movement.

That’s why they want new and brutal anti-union laws. But we can fight and win. We’ve already seen hundreds of thousands on the streets against austerity since the election. The success of coordinated strikes on London Underground and the solidarity for local strikes show why the Tories fear that the anti-austerity mood could spill into the workplaces.

The trade union movement needs to go all out to oppose anti-union laws. We need a big turnout on the TUC protest at parliament on 2 November. But there also needs to be a debate now about our response if these new laws are passed.

Will our unions be prepared to break them before they are used to break our ability to resist?

There are questions we urgently need to answer:
How do we stop the assault on wages and conditions at work? What is the strategy to build the unions, rebuild organisation where it has been in retreat and grow into new sectors? Can we fight attempts to divide our side such as the scapegoating of migrant workers, claimants and disabled people? How do we win a new generation of young workers to the trade unions? And with Jeremy Corbyn dominating the Labour leadership contest, and the rise of anti-austerity parties in Europe, we need a debate about the political representation working class people need.

Speakers so far include:

Karin Smyth, Labour MP Bristol South

Anne Lemon NUT National Executive and UTR

Dr. Alexander Carpenter, Bristol Royal Infirmary (representative of junior doctors campaign, personal capacity)

Chair Salena Williams UNISON (personal capacity).

Meeting organised by Bristol Unite the Resistance and supported by North Somerset National Union of Teachers.

Facebook Event here.

Dispute Solidarity!

Angry strikers set to escalate dispute:
250 Bridgwater fruit-juice makers resolve to see out their David and Goliath struggle against foreign-owned company to bitter end
Fifty Unite the Union demonstrators, a familiar sight at the Express Park roundabout at the north end of the Bristol Rd in Bridgwater for months now, were still in determined mood yesterday.
This was their seventh 36-hour strike protest against plans by Refresco-Gerber to radically worsen pay and conditions at the factory, which produces household-name fruit juices.
At least three more stoppages have been planned for the next two weeks.
Unite the Union officer Roy Winter said:
“Our members contribute their working lives to this factory, which makes a handsome profit for Refresco-Gerber. 
Unfortunately, under new owners whose HQ is now in Rotterdam, those profits are not enough: the plan is to double or treble them at the expense of Unite members sick pay, shift allowances, pay protection. We are talking here of corporate greed, nothing more or less.
 Refresco-Gerber is making a bad mistake. There has been a recognised union organisation here for nearly fifty years: Unite the Union will not walk away from this dispute until the company agree an acceptable settlement.”
Two mass meetings will be held on the 16th & 17th March to inform Unite members involved in the dispute of the latest negotiations.
Future 36-hour strikes are set for Wednesday /Thursday the 18th/19thMarch, 0645am to 1900pm; Tuesday/Wednesday 24th/25thMarch, 0645am to 1900pm; Wednesday/Thursday 1st /2nd April, 0645am to 1900pm. Trades unionists are welcome at picket lines, key times are 7am/7pm.
For further information please contact Roy Winter on 07720 705087
national-gallery-strike (1)
Don’t forget the ‘Meet and Greet, Thursday March 26th 6pm to 7pm at the Shakespeare Pub (behind the Arnolfini, Bristol).
PCS union members at the National Gallery in London are striking against privatisation and the suspension and then sacking of their union representative Candy Udwin. On Thursday March 26th a striker will be touring union branches in Bristol to collect solidarity donations. There will also be a ‘meet and greet’ event for the striker(s) in the evening from 6pm to 7pm at the Shakespeare pub, 68 Prince Street (behind the Arnolfini). If you can help organise a solidarity visit, please reply to this notice. All welcome at the Meet and Greet!

Local Dispute News

DSG Warminster


Defence Support Group workers, who are employed maintaining Ministry of Defence equipment are striking back for decent pay. They have rejected a one percent pay offer and have held a solid six day strike. They are currently in the midst of a further ten day strike and have been organising big picket lines at DSG sites across the country including at Warminster.

Can you invite DSG workers into your union branch or campaign meeting? Can you get to the DSG picket lines? Please rush messages of support to follow the striker’s @DSGstrike

They need your solidarity, please circulate the DSGcollectionsheet111214.

Lambeth College Lecturers
Lambeth College lecturers visited Bristol before the summer to gather support for their dispute. They have now begun their second round of their campaign, and full details can be found here. Please support them.
Sharpak, Yate
Over 100 workers at the Bristol food packaging firm Sharpak in Yate are taking intermittent strike action over a ‘sign or be sacked’ ultimatum forcing them to work extra hours.
Solidarity visits to the Unite organised dispute are welcome
Marks & Spencer Swindon
From GMB: GMB Ballot On Strike Action At Marks & Spencer Swindon Distribution Depot Over Racist Abuse And Subsequent Sacking Of Two Abused Members. On Friday 12th December up to 100 angry members will protest outside the Marks and Spencer store in Swindon over this management action says GMB.

GMB members will be holding banners saying “Marks and Spencer, we will not tolerate racism, we are not slaves” and “We Demand Respect at Work”.

Carole Vallelly, GMB  Regional officer, said, “More than 80% of the staff, permanent and agency, on site are non-white, but of more than 40 Wincanton managers all but about 4 of them are white. Our members describe a management culture reminiscent of a Mississippi plantation.

The details of protest are as follows:

11:00 am to 12: 00 noon on Friday 12th December,
Marks and Spencer
81 Regent St, 

More Strikes!


Firefighters are set to resume their strikes again with four days from October 31st.
This follows a refusal from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) refusal to bring any new offer to the table over pensions, despite two months of talks.

The strike will begin at 18:00 on 31 October until 18:00 on 4 November.
The union states that it has negotiated in good faith and has taken up every opportunity to make its case and to seek changes to the government’s pension plans, which the unions says are expensive and unworkable.Despite promising statements from Penny Mordaunt, the Westminster fire minister, it is now clear the government does not want to resolve this dispute and is spoiling for a fight.Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: “Firefighters are incandescent following two months of negotiations which have led to no new proposals.

“Firefighters will not stand by and see our members’ pension rights destroyed by a government which does not give a damn about the safety or wellbeing of firefighters or the long term

“The public do not want 60 year olds tackling fires. Everyone understand the stupidity of these plans – except government Ministers.

“We remain committed to resolving this dispute in the interests of our members and the public at large.”

The FBU has opposed government attacks on firefighter pensions and the union has presented large quantities of professional evidence to demonstrate the proposals do not take account of the real operational demands or standards of a firefighter’s role.Under government proposals firefighters will have to work until they are 60 instead of 55, pay more into their pensions and ultimately get less in retirement.Due to the rigorous fitness requirements of the fire service, many of firefighters are expected to be unable to work to 60 and therefore risk losing half of their pension.

The public will also be put at risk with every likelihood that increasing numbers of 60 year old firefighters will be attending the most serious of incidents.The Westminster government now stands isolated as the ONLY government in the United Kingdom which has offered no new proposals, with Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales all putting forward new proposals for firefighters to consider.

Matt Wrack added: “The fact the Westminster government now stands alone in this dispute shows they are ignoring all the evidence and spoiling for a fight. They do not care less about firefighters or the fire and rescue service.”

Postal Workers Strike in Bridgwater


Dave Chapple, Communications Workers Union representative, told the Mercury: “A young woman has been dismissed for sick absence and it was totally unfair. It is the worst managerial decision in all my 35 years as a postman.

“80% of the staff are out on unofficial strike because we just felt so strongly about it. We are waiting for somebody to come out to talk to us, however long it takes.”

UCU lecturers strike in Newport and S Wales.

UCU members at the University of South Wales will be on strike on Thursday 13 November in a row over job cuts.Staff will walk out in protest at compulsory redundancies resulting from the closure of the university’s centre for community learning. The centre offered a range of courses at community and workplace venues across south Wales, providing a stepping stone to higher education for people without formal qualifications.Although some of the courses will continue following the centre’s closure, several staff members are being made redundant and the university has refused to redeploy them or improve the terms of severance packages.

UCU members at the institution start working to contract^ next week and will walk out next month if the university does not reconsider its position on redeployment or improved severance packages. The union will be handing out leaflets to students explaining the reasons behind their industrial action.UCU Wales official, Margaret Phelan, said: ‘Striking is always a last resort for members but, faced with the compulsory redundancy of hardworking and committed staff and a failure by university management to properly consider alternative proposals, they have been forced to take action.

‘We hope that the university will reconsider its position in the coming weeks and work with us to find a solution so that strike action can be avoided.’

Messages of support to

New website launched to build vote against local government pay proposal

Following a meeting of over 70 local government activists after last Saturday’s TUC protest in London, a website has been launched for branches and activists to share information on the campaign to reject the rotten LG NJC pay proposals.

Unite the Resistance Conference