You can download the motions booklet for this years Annual General Meeting online by AGM motions booklet
Motion agreed at our branch committee on 21 January 2020
This branch notes:
The fourth national day of strikes and demonstrations across France on 9th January saw massive action against French president Emmanuel Macron’s attacks on pensions. According to union figures, 370,000 people marched in Paris—up by 20,000 from the last day of national action on 17 December. Elsewhere 120,000 took to the streets in Toulouse, 35,000 in the port city of Le Havre, 30,000 in Rouen, 27,000 in Lyon and 25,000 in Grenoble. In Marseille 220,000 people took part, an increase from the 150,000 on 5 and 10 December and 200,000 on 17 December.
Those marching across France included striking rail and public transport workers, refinery, hospital and civil service workers, dockers, teachers, firefighters, barristers, Yellow Vests and more.
Across the country about half of teachers were out on strike, 60 percent in Paris. Over two-thirds of train drivers and nearly 60 percent of train controllers struck according to management figures. Only a skeleton service—staffed by managers and a few scabs—ran on the Paris Metro. All eight oil refineries in France started a four-day strike from 12 noon on Tuesday 7th January. The CGT union reported that this halted the movement of fuel by tanker or pipeline completely.
The government still wants £10.2 billion cuts in pension spending and a system that will mean most people working longer and get less.
This branch believes:
- The strikers are correct to reject Macron’s partial climb-down (which will still leave most people worse off)
- There is a danger that the union leaders will allow the strikers to be isolated.
- That in the UK it is our duty to show solidarity and to raise awareness of the strikes through our unions, despite the near total news blackout.
This branch supports:
- The call for a general strike in France to secure full victory
- ‘Twinning’ with our sister union in France to update our members on what is happening and to develop solidarity between French and British workers
- A donation to the Strike fund of £50
Motion passed at our January 2020 Branch Committee
Johnson’s government has pledged to introduce even more restrcitive anti union laws to make effective strikes on transport unlawful. This is a direct attack on workers democratic rights.
Although the clear target is the RMT and other unions on the under ground, the proposed laws will target all transport workers, including trains and buses.
An initial meeting at Islington Trades Council agreed to establish a network of trade unionists and campaigners to oppose the new law and counter the anti working class arguments from the right wing and the millionaire press. The Free Our Unions campaign, which Lambeth Unison supports, has also been calling for joint activity involving unions and campaign groups to resist new anti-union laws, and will be promoting the meeting on 11 February.
Come to UNISON office at Blue Star House, Stockwell Road, SW9 9SP at 7pm on Tuesday 11 February. The more union branches and campaigners come, the stronger we are.
There are plans for rallies across the capital and a protest march as well. But we need to be creative and think how we can resist this new law, not just protest it.
The election result on 12 December was really not what we were hoping for. Labour’s vote went back down to 2015 levels but the Conservative party vote increased. Now we have Boris Johnson, a known liar and racist in Downing Street with an increased majority to bulldoze his agenda through parliament.
A word of courage though: our union branch has been through thick and thin, we survived Thatcher in the 1980s so we can survive this! There have already been protests against his government and hopefull the resistance can grow.
We will redouble our efforts around anti racist campaigning and fighting against the new anti union laws that are being proposed. We have been campaigning with Free Our Unions and working with the Fire Brigades Union and others on asserting that trade union rights are human rights and that cause will continue.
If there are any cuts coming our way we are going to work with other UNISON branches to push them back. This government had previously pledged more money for some aspects of local government but it is unlikely that the austerity agenda will be entirely reversed. We know how important local government is for our community and we are determined to fight to protect it.
We will also have to fight for other democratic rights – the proposal to bring in voter ID is designed to disenfranchise a lot of poorer voters when there is no evidence of any widespread voter fraud to necessitate such a policy.
The watchword for the coming years will have to be solidarity. We have to look out for each other and defend our communities and jobs from a Conservative government with links to the far right.
There will be time at our AGM on 05-06 February to discuss our campaigning priorities so please attend if you can.
As we always like to say, being in a union is like signing up to a gym, you can pay your money every month but you only get stronger if you get active!
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Our AGM is going to be on 05-06 Febraury 2020 – this is everything you need to know