8 July 2013
Unite the Resistance has called a national conference for 19 October (see bottom of the page to register).
The Tories continue their assault on working class people. Alongside huge cuts in public spending and an onslaught on benefits, workers face pay cuts, attacks on their pensions and job losses. Millions of workers want to see a fight back.
The recent People’s Assembly saw 4,000 activists come together to debate a way forward in the fight against austerity. Unison, Unite and the GMB backed by other unions and the TUC have called for a mass protest at the Tory Party conference on Sunday 29 September in Manchester to defend the NHS.
Alongside mass, protests, civil disobedience and the assemblies we need the power of organised workers’ action – strikes – if we are to stop Cameron and Co now. All across the world we’ve seen the central role that organised workers can play in the battle against austerity. We saw that on 30 November 2011, when 2.5 million people struck over pensions. This is the potential power that workers in Britain have to beat the government. We saw the power the unions represent once again with recent teachers’ strikes bringing thousands on to the streets of North West England. This kind of action needs to be at the centre of the fight against austerity.
That’s why it’s so important that words about coordinated action and the “practicality” of a general strike are turned into action now. Trade Unions are one of the most powerful weapons working people have to protect themselves from the government and employers’ attacks. They are even more important with Labour signing up to Tory spending plans.
Our unions need to be stronger. In 1979 around 13 million people were in trade unions. Today 6.5 million are in unions affiliated to the TUC. But trade union membership is on the increase – over half a million have joined their union since the Tories got back in. The anti-union laws undermine rights at work and the ability to organise however millions more would like to be in a union. There are whole sectors of the economy that want to be organised.
This conference is a unique opportunity for those new to organising in the workplace and their communities as well as those who have experience in the trade unions and campaigns, here and internationally, to come together and discuss how we can organise to win.
We need a strategy to build bigger and more effective trade unions. Across the public and private sector protests, campaigns and strikes are being planned for this autumn. This conference will address how we build as much support as possible for these and provide an alternative to austerity that can give hope to all those resisting the government’s assault on working people’s lives.
There will be a number of workshops introduced by trade unionists, campaigners and activists at the cutting edge of the struggle against austerity.
Speakers include: Billy Hayes (general secretary CWU), Liz Lawrence (vice-president UCU), Ronnie Draper (general secretary BFAWU bakers’ union), Jeremy Corbyn MP, Jane Aitchison PCS, Phil Jackson (EIS Scottish teachers’ and lecturers’ union national president), Frank Morris (Crossrail dispute) Sean Vernell (Unite the Resistance), and speakers from Hovis, One Housing, Glasgow social workers-unofficial walk out, Barclays Bike, Whipps Cross health worker and Lewisham hospital campaign, ISS East Coast Mainline cleaners and many, more…
**** Register here ************************************************
Tickets £5 waged / £3 unwaged