UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

'In this way, no' - full steam ahead for General Strike in Spain on 29 September‏

Trade unions in Spain are continuing to mobilise in communities and workplaces in support of the general strike planned for 29 September - the ETUC Day of Action for jobs and public services.
Yesterday CCOO Communications Secretary Lezcano Fernando said "with the general strike on September 29 we reiterate that no one can convince us that the ideas and people that caused the crisis are now those that can lead us out of it" and called on the Spanish labour movement to “fight the dictatorship of the markets”. http://www.ccoo.es/csccoo/menu.do

The old workers strike has come back by M.M. Yusif‏

The old workers strike has come back
Years of falling out is going
The NLC is fighting Neo-Liberalism
The working class is coming back

Allegories about Tory allergies to public services & NJC unions‏

Heather Wakefield, UNISON national secretary for local government, uses artistic licence in her Public Finance column to berate the refusal of the Tory led local government employers to negotiate with the NJC unions and highlight the socially regressive policies of their Westminster political masters: http://opinion.publicfinance.co.uk/2010/08/from-toy-story-to-tory-story-by-heather-wakefield/?

Friday, 6 August 2010

Red Pepper counters the cuts myths‏

The latest edition of Red Pepper provides useful ammunition in the campaign to defend public services: http://www.redpepper.org.uk/Countering-the-cuts-myths? The concise analysis systematically debunks the 10 key myths used by those politicians and other vested interests who claim that the UK is in the grip of a debt crisis caused by the ‘bloated’ public sector and that the only solution is massive cuts in jobs and public services.

6 August 1945 - Hiroshima Remembered‏

The Japan Council against A- and H- Bombs is this week is holding two major international conferences, involving up to 10,000 people, in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, to commemorate barbaric dropping of atomic bombs on Japan as the second world war drew to an end...

HR lobby calls for a ban on public service strikes‏

It is hard to see what precisely qualifies the siren voices of the HR lobby to influence public policy on the collective rights of millions of public service workers? Certainly they have had very little to say over the past 30 years as trade union rights have been stripped away to the point where UK employment law is ‘the most restrictive in the western world’ according to former PM Tony Blair.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

UNISON Support for Victimised Sodexo Workers, CGT and SEIU file complaints with the OECD‏

UNISON members working for Sodexo will be meeting fellow workers from Colombia and Peru later this month, in solidarity with their campaign against trade union rights abuses by the company.

Hold on tight for the double dip ride‏

The Con Dem rollercoaster ride to economic ruin is picking up speed. Obsessed with budget deficits without acknowledging that the whole economy is run on debt, there are signs that the "double dip" recession is about to drop on us all. The threat of a double-dip recession intensified after it emerged that Britain's powerhouse services sector saw its growth stall last month, jeopardising hopes of a sustained recovery. As the Bank of England prepared to announce its latest decision on interest rates today, a survey of the sector that makes up the bulk of Britain's economic output showed that its growth slipped to its slowest since it emerged from recession a year ago.

UNISONActive Analysis - The United States, Two Years Later‏

Guest post submitted by a US reader of UNISONActive
It was an inauspicious beginning for any U.S. President: Leadership over two wars, a global economic crisis already more than a year in the making, and a crumbling domestic infrastructure. Obama, however, also received a massive international welcome and almost universal pass by the global Left, even as he made aggressive commitments to a protracted AfPak war or noticeably backslid on his position regarding Palestine.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Forget "get on your bike" the new Tory mantra is "give up your home"

A fundamental prescription of neo-liberalism is the free mobility of labour (both within and across countries). Social insecurities rank alongside inequalities as axiomatic to the reactionary philosophy of those who believe that human beings are driven by self interest and competition.

Demos or Devious? Why let survey answers get in the way of your policy message?‏

These times are hard for think-tanks, with those favoured by New Labour desperate to flash a bit of leg at the Con Dem coalition, in a frantic attempt to reinvent their credentials as 'independent’ and thus secure future funding.

BNP oxymoronic front attacks UNISON‏

The misnamed Civil Liberty website - a 'front' for BNP member and former North East organiser Kevin Scott - makes fascinating reading:  http://www.civilliberty.org.uk/newsdetail.php?newsid=1032

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

'Liberating the NHS' - the truth really was in the title‏

Yesterday we sew the real motivation behind Lansley's plans for the NHS. Those who were dismissed by the Coalition Government, and accused of scaremongering, can today say 'we told you so'. http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/aug/01/nhs-trusts-private-patients

EDL - We can stop them says Hope not Hate‏

In the past few days Hope Not Hate has been getting reports scraps of that English Deefence League's "The Big One" - the violent and racist groups event in Bradford - will be bigger and more dangerous than first http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/StopTheEDL

Monday, 2 August 2010

Scotland local government workers reject pay cut

UNISON Scotland has announced that 80% of those voting in a consultative ballot have rejected a three year pay offer of 1% in the first year, 0% in the second and 0.5% in the third. http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/news/2010/julyaug/0208.htm

Why British pensions should go Dutch - Rather ironic don't you think?‏

A pro-pension fund article in the Torygraph, yes the Torygraph, advocates the establishment of the Dutch pension system or something similar for the UK and urges the government, trade unions and employers to meet and discuss the key points of the recommedations. The article is penned by David Pitt Watson, a friend of UNISON, who once addressed a fringe meeting at national delegate conference in 2007. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/pensions/7921778/Why-British-pensions-should-go-Dutch.html

Con Dem Spending Challenge - Glorified Suggestion Scheme or Consultation with the Condemned?‏

On Friday of last week, Prime Minister Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister wrote a personal ‘Dear Colleague’ letter to public sector workers praising the ‘magnificent response’ to their June request for savings suggestions - “so we can cut public spending in a way that is fair and responsible” – apparently 63,000 responses were received. http://bit.ly/drBFnX

Hiroshima & Nagasaki Remembered - Events in London ‏ 2-11August

2nd August:
The Enduring Legacy of the Bomb

Chair of CND Kate Hudson and Quaker Caroyln Westgate will discuss the legacy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the development of the peace movement in the years following the bombings.
Friends House, Quaker Centre, 173-177 Euston Road, London NW1 2BJ, 7pm–9pm

Urgent request on behalf of Miami 5 prisoner Gerardo Hernandez‏

Since 21 July, Miami Five prisoner Gerardo Hernandez has been held in the ‘hole’ – a windowless cell of 7x3 feet which he shares with another prisoner, with little ventilation and reaching temperatures of 95 degrees. He is unable to take a shower and is taken outside in a cage for just one hour every other day.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Hiroshima-Nagasaki A-Bomb Exhibition in London 2 to 12 August‏

Timed to coincide with the 65th anniversary of the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, ‘After the Bomb Dropped: How Hiroshima and Nagasaki Suffered’ is an exhibition that explores the destruction of the two cities by nuclear weapons through photographs and artefacts recovered from the wreckage. Transported from Japan and on display in London for the first time, this represents a unique opportunity to see firsthand the destructive capabilities of nuclear weapons.

Public spending cuts will undermine economic recovery‏

The lesson of the US economic slowdown is that increased public spending will be necessary to secure economic recovery. As the New Statesman points out, this is the complete reverse of Con Dem slash and burn fiscal policies: “The danger for Britain is that the coalition is currently planning to do the complete reverse, slashing spending in pursuit of what a recent New York Times editorial accurately described as a pointless structural Budget surplus".

Con Dem U-turn on A&E and Maternity Ward closures‏

The Government is reneging on General Election campaign promises to reconsider the possible closure of hospital wards and accident and emergency departments in England, according to Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham: "This U-turn proves that Lansley was playing politics with the NHS at the election and has now had to face up to reality. His opportunistic pledge to halt A&E and maternity closures has lasted less than two months," http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/jul/30/conservatives-accused-over-hospitals-policy

Factory by Nikola Vaptsarov‏

A factory, Clouds of smoke above.
The people – simple,
The life – hard, boring.
Life with the mask and grease-paint off
Is a savage dog snarling.