Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/679/12402
Unison - name the day for action
Many members of Britain's biggest public sector union, Unison, were disappointed that they could not take action with fellow trade unionists on 30 June against the attacks on public sector pensions.
Left groups in Unison, including the Socialist Party, wrote this motion (below) calling on Unison's leadership to name the day for strike action which needs to be coordinated with other unions. If Unison, Unite and GMB take action alongside the PCS and teaching unions this would see four million workers on strike in the autumn.
The call from this year's National Delegate Conference was clear: prepare for sustained, coordinated national industrial action over pensions. In his conference speech, our general secretary, Dave Prentis, said "If this government fails to heed our warnings, to negotiate in good faith, I say to David Cameron, 'You ain't seen nothing yet.'
"We will strike to defend our pensions: a campaign of strike action without precedent. Our preparations are well advanced, but there is more to do. Strike action will need to be sustained. The fight of our lives may be an overused cliche, but that is what this is."
But Unison's experience in building for 26 March shows that key to building confidence and delivering activity in the workplace is having a concrete date to aim for. That is why we are calling on Dave Prentis and our national executive to name a date for a national ballot and to name a date for the first day of strike action - if other unions such as PCS, NUT, UCU etc go out on 4 October, we should pledge to join them.
We therefore resolve to:
- Complete the update of our membership records and prepare for an Industrial Action Ballot on pensions.
- Call on the National Executive Committee (NEC) and the general secretary to announce a ballot and name a date for action. Any lawful industrial action should be coordinated with other unions.
- Call for an Emergency Regional Council, as soon as possible, to debate the motion set out above.
When your Unison branch passes the motion send a copy to the regional secretary, regional convenor, regional head of service group, general secretary: firstname.lastname@example.org and president: email@example.com
Copies please to: firstname.lastname@example.org
In The Socialist 13 July 2011:
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party feature - disability rights
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party review