Report from Oxfordshire Unite the Resistance meeting, Monday 29 April

2 May 2013

Oxfordshire Unite the Resistance meeting, April 29

Forty trade unionists from across Oxfordshire attended the first local Unite the Resistance meeting on Monday 29th April. The meeting, held in the historic Ruskin College buildings, was addressed by Chad Croom, Branch Secretary CWU South Central; Ian Hodson, President of the Bakers’ Union; Ellen Clifford of Disabled People Against Cuts and Alan Whitaker former President of the UCU. During discussion reps and members from Unite, NUM, CWU, UNISON, UNISON Health, NUT, PCS, UCU and NUS highlighted the issues uniting working class people across the county.

Ian, a UNISON Health member, told how the local PCT had been recently taken over by the ever-expanding Southern Health. Southern Health has told Oxfordshire health workers they face a 15 percent cut in wages. In response, 90 percent of health workers have voted to strike in a local ballot.  CWU members talked of the threat of privatisation of the postal service and their plans and determination to oppose it. An NUT rep and others talked of the threat of the casualization of educational workers, with payment by results, zero and variable hour contracts undermining the quality and value of working class children’s education.

What was clear at the meeting was that the employers’ offensive across the workforce was both a vicious attack on our lives and, being that, an opportunity for unity – that by attacking any one section of workers the employers were attacking all of us. With that in mind, Oxford UtR will be holding a further organising meeting to plan and coordinate motions, money and action in support of any group of workers in the county fighting back.

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