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National Shop Stewards' Network hits the ground running
The first committee meeting of the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) took place on 21 July. There was a good attendance despite the onset of holidays and the terrible weather affecting parts of the country and transport.
Kevin Parslow NSSN committee member
The major decision was to agree to call a meeting at the TUC Conference for 11 September on the question of the anti-trade union laws and to launch the network more widely in the trade union movement.
It was generally felt that the holiday period and the relatively short notice would not be conducive to building for a big lobby. However, many of the committee members committed themselves to organise the meeting and attend it.
Members also gave their full support to the Communication Workers Union (CWU) in its current disputes. A letter was sent to the CWU with our support and a draft letter was agreed which has been sent to committee members to give to CWU reps and pickets.
It includes the paragraph: "We believe that one of our most important roles should be to offer solidarity and practical support to workers in struggle. In Britain today, it is clear that you are on the frontline in the battle against cuts and privatisation in the public sector. The outcome of your dispute will have consequences not only for postal workers, but for all public-sector workers. For that reason we believe it absolutely crucial that our Network does all it can to give assistance to your struggle."
The committee also agreed to get out material to urge trade union organisations to affiliate to the network and to contact those reps who attended the founding conference with a view to holding regional meetings in the autumn.
It was clear from the reports of the postal and other disputes developing on a national scale that the network can hit the ground running and begin to make an impact amongst the thousands of shop stewards and representatives active in the trade union movement.
In The Socialist 26 July 2007:
Postal workers' strike
Socialist Party NHS campaign
Socialist Party news and analysis
Tales from the council chambers
Socialist Party Marxist analysis
Socialist Party reviews
Workplace news and analysis
International socialist news and analysis