Northampton Blacklisting Protest. On the 23rd May there was an occupation by the Blacklist Supporters Group and members of Unite and Unison of the premises of the Danish Employment Agency Atlanco Rimec in Northampton, who were recently exposed on Danish TV as having kept a secret blacklist. This was part of a day of national action.

Public Support for Reclaims Our NHS

Public Support for Reclaim Our NHS

For press coverage and quotes by Brian Higgins, UCATT Branch Sec from Northampton, who was blacklisted and then endured decades of unemployment see http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-efdb-Campaigners-occupy-blacklister-Atlanco-Rimecs-office#.U43CqiiGfLI. Brian’s 49 page blacklist file is the largest file kept on the covert database and records when he stood up for his fellow workers as a UCATT shop steward and elected convener on building sites in London area during the 1980 and 90s.


Also look at previous newsletters.

5th June: Unison Worth It campaign – Fair Pay for NHS Workers Day of Action. There will be a gathering outside the main Cliftonville entrance of the hospital, probably between 12 and 1. Please come and support. Details will go up on https://www.facebook.com/unisonhospitals.branch and the Worth It campaign national site is https://www.unison.org.uk/our-campaigns/unison-campaigns/worth-it/home/

6th/7th (Friday/Sat) June Women Chainmakers Festival, Cradley Heath, Sandwell. Saturday will be a great day out for the family. Speakers, theatre, music and plenty for the kids to do. For details: 7304_1 Chainmakers_2014_leaflet_final2.

9th June: Trades Council 7.00pm Old Black Lion

14th/15th June: Unionlearn conference 10 to 4 Congress House http://www.unionlearn.org.uk/civicrm/event/info?reset=1&id=3236

21st June People’s Assembly National Demonstration and free festival. Assemble 1pm, BBC HQ, Portland Place (Tube: Oxford Circus) March to Parliament. Coaches are being organised from across the country – get in touch with your local People’s Assembly group for transport details: http://www.thepeoplesassembly.org.uk/local-groups

12th July Sat TUC Young Workers Forum Birmingham. Email rjohnston@tuc.org.uk for details. Topics will include zero hours contracts, job insecurity etc. Would be well worthwhile sending a delegate! We need more young people to be involved with our TUs.

Sept 11th Conference on the Legacy of the Miners’ Strike in Birmingham.
Contact t.potter@staff.newman.ac.uk
Download a flyer for the event.

28th November Midlands TUC Reps Awards Dinner at Aston Villa Football Club! Closing Date for nominations Friday 31st Oct.

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Info/Details from Michelle Kesterton mkesterton@tuc.org.uk.


Reclaim Our NHS has produced a leaflet for distribution. If you can get some copies into your local GP/pharmacy etc it would be great! NHS Leaflet 1

NHS articles etc: http://www.opendemocracy.net/ournhs?utm_source=OurNHS&utm_campaign=ebe1309117-OURNHS_RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_25189be8a1-ebe1309117-407833733

Send an email to the Guatemalan Attorney General re the murder of banana picker trade unionists: http://act.goingtowork.org.uk/page/speakout/bring-murderers-of-banana-trade-unionists-to-justice

Global Worker website (IndustriALL): http://www.industriall-union.org/home

TUC: Campaign in Defence of the Welfare System ‘Save Our Safety Net’. The campaign is looking for a couple who can talk about how hard it would be to wait 6 weeks for benefits if they became unemployed and also someone who found work after being unemployed who can talk about the importance of being given welfare help. Contact Alex Rossiter w 0207 467 1285, mob 07887 572 130 email arossiter@tuc.org.uk

TUC Briefing ‘A Future that Works’ Campaign for the Disabled. Long and detailed briefing, well worth reading. http://www.tuc.org.uk/sites/default/files/DisabledPeopleFightingAusterity.pdf



10th May (Sat). Please join the Independent Socialists in Wellingborough on the International Waendel Walk. Meet 10.00am outside The Castle Theatre, Wellingborough. If you have one, please bring along a small red flag that can fit in your ruck sack! Also wear your Wellingborough Diggers T-shirt (if you have one). There are two walks that we will be

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taking: one 10km and the other 15km. There are great views along and across the Nene valley and regular refreshments breaks (at least one in Great Doddington Working Mens Club, who do great beers and sandwiches/food!!).

12th May 7pm Trades Council Meeting, Old Black Lion.

15th May (Thurs) 7.30: Meeting on future of Palestine at Quaker Meeting House, Northampton. Speaker Baroness Jenny Tonge. Organised by Northampton Al-Bireh (Palestine) Friendship Association. For details: Palestine Meeting

16th May (Friday) International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, The Courtyard, The Guildhall, Northampton. There will be a minute of noise, and we would like to encourage you to bring along instruments to join in with this. The ceremony will be followed by refreshments in the Court Room.Everyone is welcome to attend the ceremony – we would like to invite Councillors, community members and community organisations to help Northampton Borough Council recognise the day.

17th May Red Rope Levellers Day Walk details tbc – see http://northampton-redrope-walking-group.org.uk/walks/

27th May 7.15 Reclaim Our NHS Meeting Old Black Lion.

31st May Reclaim Our NHS Stalls: 11am Cobblers’ Last statue Abington St, 2pm second floor of the Grosvenor Centre with Community Courtyard.

6th/7th (Friday/Sat)June Women Chainmakers Festival, Cradley Heath, Sandwell. Saturday will be a great day out for the family. Speakers, theatre, music and planty for the kids to do. For details: 7304_1 Chainmakers_2014_leaflet_final2.

21st June People’s Assembly National Demonstration and free festival. Assemble 1pm, BBC HQ, Portland Place (Tube: Oxford Circus) March to Parliament. Coaches are being organised from across the country – get in touch with your local People’s Assembly group for transport details: http://www.thepeoplesassembly.org.uk/local-groups

Please Support:

Northamptonshire Police have decided to disband their hate crime unit to save money. See coverage at:

There is a petition online to sign. Contact Anjona Roy for more info.

Reclaim Our NHS Petition: https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/nene-clinical-commissioning-group-nene-clinical-commissioning-group-should-ensure-access-to-timely-quality-public-provided-health-care-take-note-of-the-steps-that-we-suggest-2#share

TUC Surveys:

1. Pregnancy. The TUC is undertaking some work on the experiences of women who are discriminated against during pregnancy or while on maternity leave. We are keen to hear from women who have experienced pregnancy discrimination themselves but we are also keen to hear from union officers, reps, and helpline staff who handle these cases and who may be able to give some insight into the types of cases they deal with, whether the cases are resolved or whether they go to tribunal, whether there has been an increase in these types of cases etc. We would also be interested to hear about any sectors or industries where pregnancy discrimination appears to be a particular problem.

The TUC has put together a very short (5 questions) survey to help us to gather information on pregnancy discrimination. The deadline is Friday 16th May. The survey can be found at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/PregnancyDiscrimination

2. EU Candidates Survey on workers’ rights and H&S.

The present European Commission have put a moratorium on any new regulations on a range of workers rights and are actively considering reducing rights in some areas. It is clear that a considerable number of MEPs support the Commissions deregulatory agenda. Given that we are shortly to have elections to the European Parliament, you may want to consider gauging the views of candidates in your area to seek to try to commit

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them to voting to keep or expand existing rights on health and safety, working time and agency workers. The TUC has drafted a European elections survey that you might want to consider issuing to all candidates. It can be adapted to meet any local concerns. Given that most European constituencies cover the area of a number of Trades Councils, you are encouraged to liaise with other local Trades Council and the regional TUC.

3. Job Insecurity.

The TUC is launching a survey on job insecurity. Please find attached a leaflet promoting the survey. We would be very grateful if you could promote the survey and encourage responses amongst your networks. The TUC is particularly interested in responses from zero hours contract workers, agency workers, and those in temporary work. But we are also keen to hear from other workers who face problems of short hours working, job insecurity and / or low pay. We will use the findings from the survey as part of our campaign for a better deal for people at work. The survey will go live at http://www.tuc.org.uk/jobinsecurity on 2 May 2014 and will close on 20 June 2014.

Media Coverage of Interest

Firefighters’ Strike: http://www.northamptonchron.co.uk/news/local/video-northampton-firefighters-go-on-strike-for-five-hours-in-row-over-pensions-1-6036921

Cuts in healthcare jobs: http://www.northamptonchron.co.uk/news/local/unions-say-almost-250-northamptonshire-healthcare-nhs-staff-at-risk-of-redundancy-1-6022846

Also in today’s Chronicle but not yet online.



NTUC and NADS News 6th June

1. TUC Anti-Austerity Bus 25th June (see previous blog entry 14th May for general details). The bus will be in Northampton from approx 9.30am to 2pm. The main location for it will be outside Primark in Abington St, but it may visit other locations at the beginning and end of that period. The bus itself will have an exhibition in it which will be wheelchair accessible via a ramp. The TUC Women’s Committee will be doing some sort of event, probably around midday.

However, one activity which has been suggested over the lunch period could be a march up Abington St by various unions with banners to gather by the bus. We need unions to contact Ron asap if they are interested in taking part as we need to firm up the timetable and any organisational details and get an idea about how many unions want to be involved. We may also have activities around the library campaign, health and disability going on, but it would be great to have union involvement.

It is an excellent opportunity to get your message

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2. NHS Flash Mob. Just a reminder that this activity has been postponed, but a new date in July will be fixed

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3. Umbrella Fair 17th/18th August. Yes it’s already that time of year again! We are going to book 4 pitches again this year for 2 days. Please could any organisations (unions or campaign groups) wanting to be in the NTUC marquee let Ron and Pat know asap, so we can put you on the booking form. This means that your organisation’s name will go on the details of our stall in the UF programme. You

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need to be able to provide people to help man the stall over the weekend. Click for details of the Umbrella Fair.

4. Women Chainmakers’s Festival 8th June. A reminder of this event which is very lively, music, stalls etc and a good family day out. For details go to http://womenchainmakersfestival.blogspot.co.uk/or the midlands TUC blog: http://midlandstucmedia.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/women-chainmakers-festival-returns-to.html. There are

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videos on the sites which give a good idea of what it’s all about.

5. The Northampton Connolly Association will be having a stall this weekend at the Carnival on Far Cotton Rec – please drop by!

NTUC and NADS News 30th May

Just a few items for now – I’ll try to put up some TUC and other links over the weekend if I have time.

  • The English Defence League is holding an event this Saturday as follows (lifted from their website): Meet from 10.30 hours at the East-Gate 98-102 Abington Street Northampton NN1 2BP The parade will leave at 11.45 hours and head to all saints church, where flowers will be laid at the war memorial. A minutes silence will take place at 12.00 hour,. and then return to the starting point. NO CHANTING OR SINGING. This is a public event and anyone is welcome to join. I have been requested remove the details of the meeting organised to consider how to respond to this event, so apologies to those who are looking for them.
  • Trades Council is at 7.15 pm on Monday 3rd June at University of Northampton Park Campus Cottesbrooke 107. The main business of the meeting will be to plan events around the visit of the TUC Anti-Austerity Bus on 25th June. Community groups who wish to get involved are welcome to send a representative – please let Ron and/or Pat know if you propose to do so. Please could all TC delegates make an effort to attend.