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

Saturday, 21 July 2012

International Brigades Commemoration 7 July - Video

A video of the IBMT commemoration held in London on 7 July including stirring anti-fascist words from former UNISON General Secretary Rodney Bickerstaffe and excellent music: http://www.youtube.com/user/IBMTnews

Spain rises up against austerity

Trade union led mass protests were held in over 80 Spanish cities and towns on Thursday evening. Hundreds of thousands protested as Parliament approved a further €65 billion of austerity cuts and tax rises. "The new cuts harm the weakest sectors of society without one single measure that involves any effort by companies and the highest earners," said the CCOO Spain’s largest union confederation

Occupation by Joan Annsfire

Our chanting, swallowed by the early hours,
we sang or tossed and turned
on rooftops, on marble floors, on cement
with exhilaration, with trepidation,
each ideal sculpted with determination;
stark, resolute, expansive
beneath a soft, black sky.

Friday, 20 July 2012

The Open Public Services agenda is a massive drive to privatisation

Matt Dykes, writing on the TUC's Stronger Unons blog, provides a comprehensive critique of privatisation and calls on unions to promote in house service delivery, to build a rigorous evidence base on the benefits of public service delivery as well as form alliances with community groups and service users to derail the privatisation juggernaught:

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Where Has Democracy Gone in UNISON’s Higher Education Service Group?

Following on from the decision of UNISON’s Local Government SGE to recommend members accept the LGPS 2014 proposals, news coming out of the Higher Education SGE meeting, also held today, should be of note to all with an interest in union democracy.

Local Government Service Group Executive Recommends Acceptance of the LGPS 2014 Proposals

UNISON’s Local Government SGE met today to consider the outcome of the member consultation on the proposals for a new LGPS to take effect from April 2014. After months of intense negotiations the proposals were released on 31 May for informal consultation and UNISON’s Local Government Conference in June agreed that a recommendation for the all member ballot should be informed by the widest possible consultation with members.

The political tide is going out for Privatisation and Outsourcing

Two excellent articles in yesterday’s papers considered the implications of the G4S Olympics security contract failures for privatisation and outsourcing in the UK. Michael Meacher MP writing in the Morning Star states that it is ‘a delicious paradox that the one persistent theme in the coalition's ideology is privatising everything in the public sector that moves, yet nothing has exposed the inadequacies and incompetences of privatisation so ruthlessly as the government's enthusiasm for it’

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

The Madness of Barclays - What's inside their accounts?

Barclay’s were the first to fall on their sword and disclose their manipulation of interest rates for their own profit, nothing you wouldn’t really expect, if you give bankers the power to set their own interest rates then they are not going to do it for charity are they?

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Exploitation of temporary workers in California being emulated at London Olympics

A profound personal testimony on the Mother Jones website describes the experience of unemployed workers trying to get back into work through the US company 'Labor Ready'. It describes the unpaid hours of waiting around, the false promises, the minimum wage, the exploitation and abuse, the underpayments, the health and safety violations and the summary dismissals. It also makes it clear that there is no union, no healthcare, no bargaining and no answering back. It also notes this is the fastest growing type of employment in the US, employing poor blacks and workers in their 60's and 70's who don't have a pension.

Risks of Privatisation - Lessons yet to be learned by Theresa May?

The 31st G8 summit was held on the 6-8 July 2005 at the Gleneagles Hotel Scotland. The perimeters of the site were guarded by a battalion of UK police officers drafted in for the special event from police forces across the UK. It left London and other UK cities with minimal cover for policing. Enter stage right the perfect opportunity for the tragic 7th July attacks on London.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Tolpuddle Martyrs remembered in Samba style!

UNISON's Samba dance band went down a storm on the parade in Tolpuddle yesterday, as thousands of trade unionists gathered at the three day festival to commemmorate the Tolpuddle Martyrs who were transported to Australia in 1834 for 'administering an unlawful oath'.

Trade unionism alive & kicking in Durham

A large UNISON contingent took part in Saturday’s 128th Durham Miners’ Gala, with dozens of branch banners on display on the march as well as regional delegations from Northern Ireland, North West and the host Northern Region. The presence of Ed Miliband, the first Labour leader since 1989 to attend the Gala and address the rally, ensured that this powerful celebration of trade union solidarity received national media attention: http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/news/content/view/full/121454

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Barriers by Mark Griffiths

untouchable subtlety of the market reef,
privatising divisible areas,
cartographer of economic fortresses,
excluding swathes from within, without, ghettoisation,
ultimate discriminator,