The banner for the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) made its first appearance at Tolpuddle Martyr’s Festival. An appropriate setting for an organisation which has the support of the Rail Transport and Maritime (RMT),Public and Commercial Civil Service (PCS) unions, Communications Workers (CWU), Prision Officers Association (POA), National Union of Journalists (NUJ), and National Union of Mineworkers (NUM).
Organising mutual solidarity when trade unions are in dispute is at the heart of the work of the NSSN. It will also share information to develop ways of successfully resisting attacks on our union rights, jobs, pay, conditions and pensions. It aims to build a movement that can help sweep the anti-union laws off the books and make them inoperable in the meantime.
The NSSN does not interfere in internal trade union business, but seeks to strengthen confidence, democracy and accountability at all levels of all our unions. It seeks affiliations from all official trade union bodies, from local branches to national unions.
Full membership of the NSSN is open to all elected trade union reps who are not national paid full-time officials: so if you are a shop steward, local rep, branch official, health and safety rep, trades council delegate or union learning rep, your place is in the NSSN as well as your own union. Of course, all union members are welcome to attend their meetings.
Bringing new blood into the movement is vital so the NSSN will encourage younger workers, agency and migrant workers to join their unions, organise in their workplaces and become reps themselves.
Bob Crow, RMT general secretary, said: “We are in the fight of our lives. The shocking Beecroft report shows just how much further the bosses and the Tories want to go, with the right to hire and fire at will.”
The South West region of the NSSN will be lobbying the TUC to call a 24-hour General Strike against austerity when it meets in Brighton on September 9. For further information visit http://www.shopstewards.net/index.htm
South West NSSN seeks the co-operation and support of local trades union councils in building the network.