Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/536/4183
Time to fight back: time to organise
ISR mounts London protest
Come to the national shop stewards network conference
Millions of public-sector workers have had their pay frozen when real inflation is rocketing. Workers in the private sector are having to cope with wage cuts and low pay. But while we struggle to pay for our groceries down the supermarket, MPs like John Prescott and former LibDem leader Menzies Campbell were given £60 a week on average to pay for theirs! No wonder politicians are out of touch!
Rob Williams, Unite convenor, Swansea Visteon plant, personal capacity
For millions of workers there's no subsidy. Whether you're in the private or public sector, our 'right' to a job on decent terms and conditions and pensions depends on our ability to fight. The question many rank and file trade unionists are asking is: "How do we fight back effectively?"
National Shop Stewards Network second conference
Saturday 28 June, 11.30am-4.30pm
South Camden Community School, Charrington Street, London NW1.
The National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) is holding its second national conference on 28 June in London. The NSSN was set up by the rail union RMT as a first step to help to revive the shop stewards' movement.
The hundreds of thousands of workers involved in strike action in the last year from the postal workers to the civil servants have already seen how rank and file solidarity is vital in maintaining morale and finances to sustain action.
But the Network is also crucial in allowing stewards to swap experiences on how they take on management but also unfortunately, often the union full-time officials. On too many occasions, they can act as a barrier to workers struggling.
By being organised, we can ensure that our members' anger isn't blocked. Like many stewards, I've had enough of being told 'don't rock the boat'. If our members are prepared to fight, we should be prepared to lead them.
The general secretaries of some of the most militant unions will be speaking at the conference - Bob Crow (RMT), Mark Serwotka (PCS) and Brian Caton (POA). But just as importantly, hundreds of shop stewards and workplace reps will be attending to discuss topics ranging from fighting to defend our pensions to the crisis of political representation for workers.
Hopefully, if you can make the conference, in six months time when you're up against the boss, you'll be using some information you picked up at this event.
If you're a shop steward or thinking of becoming one - your place is at this conference. Get your workmates to come and help re-energise the trade unions for the battles now and to come.
In The Socialist 3 June 2008:
Environment and socialism
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party campaigns
Socialist Party review
Socialist Party youth and students
Environment: Nuclear power
International socialist news and analysis