National Shop Stewards Network on the 26th March TUC Demonstration
Hundreds of NSSN supporters worked to promote the Network on the TUC
March 26th demonstration against the cuts. Some 40,000 high quality
postcards were distributed explaining the NSSN's main demand that,
following the success of the huge march, the TUC should step up the
pressure on the Government by bringing together public sector and
private sector workers in a 24-hour general strike to stop cuts and
demand was warmly received by thousands of marchers who recognised
that, in the weeks and months ahead, almost every sector represented
on the march would face a battle to defend jobs and services, oppose
wage freezes at a time of rocketing inflation, or to fight against
Government plans to make us all work longer, contribute more, and
receive less in our pensions.
makes sense to the whole rank-and-file that, instead of those battles
being kept separate, trade union leaders should coordinate their
action and unify the struggles by setting the same date for a
national, weekday, strike. We now need to make trade union leaders
see sense as well.
theme was further explained at the rolling meeting the NSSN held at
Speakers' Corner in Hyde Park. The TUC had decided that, of all its
platform speakers, only the 10 largest unions would be represented.
That meant some of the most active and militant trade unions, such as
the RMT, would be excluded.
NSSN, therefore, built a platform and organised a speaker system to
allow a range of speakers to address thousands of marchers as they
passed Speakers' Corner. Such was the size of the demonstration,
however, that some of the scheduled speakers didn't arrive in Hyde
Park until, unfortunately, the meeting at Speakers' Corner had
finished. That included Matt Wrack, General Secretary of the FBU, and
Alex Gordon, President of the RMT.
range of speakers volunteered on the day and contributed to a lively
meeting, including Keith Gibson (GMB) one of the leaders of the
current battle against the lockout of construction workers at Saltend,
seeking to defend the Blue Book Agreement; Terry Pearce (Unite) of the
Bracknell anticuts campaign; Peter Taaffe, general secretary of the
Socialist Party; and Cllr Dave Nellist, of the NSSN anticuts campaign
Hundreds of names and addresses were collected during the day, and a
number of people signed and paid up to join the campaign.
Network grew stronger on March 26th, and will now be even better known
by active members in a range of trade unions across the country.