Unite the Resistance, “Organising to win” conference, Saturday 19 October, with Billy Hayes, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Jane Aitchison, Liz Lawrence, Frank Morris

12 October 2013

**Speakers and workshops have now been announced, click here to go straight to the timetable**

Unite the Resistance “Organising to win conference”, Saturday 19 October, central London

The Unite the Resistance conference on Saturday 19 October is an opportunity for all those who want to discuss how can organise to win together.

The fantastic demonstration at the Tory Party conference in Manchester on Sunday 29 September, called by Unison, Unite and the GMB saw some 55,000 people demonstrate.

UtR conf final 111013

People turned out not just to march to “Save Our NHS” but to protest all the vicious Tory policies that are making working people suffer in the name of austerity.

Like the 4,000 strong People’s Assembly in June, the march showed both the breadth and anger of opposition to the Tories.

Since then thousands of teachers in the NUT and NASUWT unions joined regional rallies and demonstrations around the country when they struck on 1 October.

3,000 demonstrated in Birmingham, 2,000 in Sheffield, 1,500 in Nottingham, 1,500 in Leeds, 1,000 in Cambridge, 300 in Norwich and 250 in Derby. On all of these rallies there was a palpable anger against what the Tory education minister Michael Gove is doing to our children’s education.

Teachers are set to strike again on Thursday 17 October in London, the South West, Southern and Northern regions.

Firefighters, who struck back on 25 September against attacks on their pensions are set to join a national demonstration over pensions, job cuts, fire service cuts and privatisation on Wednesday 16 October and will strike again for five hours on the evening of the Unite the Resistance conference, Saturday 19 October from 6.30pm-11.30pm.

UtR final ii 111013

Unison and UCU members in Higher Education have just voted for strikes over their paltry 1 percent pay offer. The Unite HE result is out on Monday.

The PCS union’s NEC meets on 22 October to decide the next steps for strike action in the civil service.

Postal workers are being balloted for strikes over pay, job cuts, workload and privatisation.

And we’ve seen some victories too.

The Hovis workers in Wigan, members of BFAWU, stood up and beat the bosses over zero-hours contracts.

Electrician, Frank Morris won reinstatement onto the Crossrail project following a big campaign against blacklisting by Unite.

In Glasgow, social care workers on the homelessness team struck unofficially in support of a suspended colleague and won her reinstatement.

The conference will look at what we can all learn from these disputes. Frank and strikers from Glasgow and Wigan will be speaking at it.

It’s good that the TUC, following its congress this year, reaffirmed the idea of examining the practicalities of a general strike. We welcome that TUC speakers say that the TUC will organise coordinated strikes if their members ask for it.

Teachers march in Birmingham on their 1 October strike day. Photo: Geoff Dexter

Teachers march in Birmingham on their 1 October strike day. Photo: Geoff Dexter

We have to turn these words into action. The strike of 2.6 million people on 30 November 2011 shows the potential.

We need stronger unions and we need to build networks of solidarity for the fights that are happening.

Come along and join the workshops and plenaries to discuss how we can organise a fight back that can win.

Saturday 19 October, 12noon-5pm, BloomsburyBaptistChurch, 235 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, WC2H 8EP.

Click here to download the full colour leaflet

Opening plenary, “Striking back against austerity” 12–1.30pm:

Chair Ian Hodson, BFAWU national president

Billy Hayes, CWU general secretary

Kelly MacMillan, FBU firefighter

Alex Kenny, NUT national executive

Claire Lyall, Unison Glasgow Social Care vice convenor

Sean Vernell, Unite the Resistance/ UCU

Ciara Doyle, Disabled People Against the Cuts (DPAC)

Video from Egyptian activist on building independent trade unions


Workshops: 2–3.30pm


1. Organising the Unorganised and Fighting Zero Hours

Chair George Binette, Camden Unison branch

Christina Paine, UCU activist London Met

John Fox, BFAWU Hovis Strike


2. Rough Guide to Building Strong Workplace Organisation

Chair Paul Phillips, NUT Connaught school strike

Sarah Woolley, BFAWU Greggs

Caul Grant, RMT Serco “Boris” bikes strike

Bryan Kennedy, Unite One Housing strike


3. Trade Unions and Fighting the War on Claimants

Chair Dave Sherry, Unite Scottish Housing branch

Jane Aitchison, PCS DWP

Liz Wheatley, Camden Unison branch

Yasmin Kenyan, Bedroom Tax activist


4. Unity Forever: Fighting Oppression in the Workplace

Chair Ellen Clifford, Disabled People Against the Cuts (DPAC)

Debs Gwynn, NUT North West region LGBT rep

Alex Ajufo, RMT ISS East Coast Mainline strike

Clara Osagiede, RMT London Underground cleaners’ dispute


5. How Can We Save Our NHS?

Chair Candy Udwin, London Keep Our NHS Public/ NHS London campaigns’ coordinating group

Dan Fearnley, Oxfordshire Unison Health branch on national attack on pay

Sam Strudwick, Whipps Cross Hospital Unison branch

Mark Burt, Unite Yorkshire Ambulance strike against derecognition

Helmut Heib, joint secretary Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign


6. Fighting the Blacklist and Taking on the Anti-Union Laws

Chair Ian Bradley, Unite London Construction branch/ rank and file

Frank Morris, Crossrail dispute

Glasgow Social Care strike speaker


Closing plenary, “Build the unions, build the protests, build the strikes” 4 – 5pm:

Chair Sara Tomlinson, NUT/ Unite the Resistance

Jeremy Corbyn MP

Jane Aitchison, PCS/ Unite the Resistance

Lee Jasper, Black Activists Rising Against the Cuts (BARAC)

Phil Jackson, EIS Scottish teachers’ union national president

Liz Lawrence UCU national vice president

Ronnie Draper, BFAWU general secretary

John Morrison, Unison Future Directions


All speakers in a personal capacity


Book your ticket now:

Tickets £5 waged / £3 unwaged:

Click here to link to page and scroll to bottom to pay online

1 comment

  1. simon evans said:

    cant make london,wife cant travel,any nearer venues midlands area ?

    12 October 2013 at 5:57pm

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