27 November 2013
Organising and debating the way forward
The Tory led coalition and the employers continue their assault on the working class and their communities. Energy companies raise their prices by 10% leaving pensioners this winter scared to put on the heating out of fear of being cut off. More and more young people are stuck on the dole as the amount of 16-24 years on long term unemployment rises on a monthly basis.
The sell-off of Royal Mail to the city traders brings back memories of the Thatcher years as Cameron privatises one of the last publicly owned facilities. The threat to shut down and ship out production at Grangemouth shows the bullying and vicious type of management that are prepared to destroy communities and their families without a moment’s thought.
Those in work face wage cuts, workloads spiralling out of control, the rise of zero hours contracts and their pensions slashed.
There have been some important signs of trade union resistance, from the fantastic October strikes by teachers and Higher Education workers over pay to the brilliant victory by Hovis workers at their Wigan plant over zero hour contracts. The inspirational strike by a 1,000 Teaching Assistants in Glasgow also shows that resistance is not only possible but ongoing.
However we have also seen important setbacks for the trade union movement. Articles have appeared across the media debating the role of trade unions and questioning their ability to defend their members in the face of a globalised market.
It is in this context that Unite the Resistance has launched two new initiatives:
1) Organising to win conferences: We will be rolling events out across the country on the model of our successful ‘Organising to win’ event held in London on 19 October.
2) Unite the Resistance will be hosting a series of forums across the country entitled, ‘Defend our unions-build the fightback against austerity’. These forums will bring together trade unionists from across the movement to debate how we can defend our unions from the government offensive and to outline a way forward in the aftermath of Grangemouth.
Jane Aitchison, Joint Secretary Unite the Resistance
Sean Vernell, Joint Secretary Unite the Resistance