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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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: