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From The Socialist newspaper, 26 June 2019

Unison conference: Socialist Party members call for anti-cuts fight and build left challenge

Unison union delegates voting, photo Paul Mattsson

Unison union delegates voting, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Socialist Party members in Unison

2,000 delegates gathered in Liverpool for the Unison annual delegate conference from 16-21 June. Despite the city we were in none of the fighting traditions of Liverpool seemed to rub off on the union's leadership.

Given the onslaught on jobs and services in the public sector it is a scandal that the union conference isn't even allowed to debate setting legal no-cuts budgets, let alone demand Labour councils implement them. However this did not stop the four Socialist Party members speaking in the cuts debate and calling for the union and Labour to do what socialist-led Liverpool's Labour council did in the 1980s.

With a rumour that the unions were due to meet Jeremy Corbyn to discuss Brexit and the call for a second referendum the leadership tried to get an emergency motion on the agenda that included the call for a second referendum.

But for once it was them who fell foul of the standing orders committee and they didn't get away with it. The union position is still to demand a call for a general election and it was clear from the mood of conference that there is no appetite for a Remain position.

General secretary Dave Prentis gave his usual lacklustre performance and only managed to stage a standing ovation by listing all the local strikes that had and were taking place and then calling up the strikers to the platform.

His stunt fooled no one, particularly the 200 delegates who attended the Unison Action fringe meeting determined to build a fighting and democratic union and to prepare a left challenge in the forthcoming general secretary election.

The Socialist Party held a successful fringe meeting at which over 1,700 was raised for the fighting fund and during the course of the week 200 copies of the Socialist were sold.

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In The Socialist 26 June 2019:


Climate change

How can we build workers' action to support the climate strikes?

Climate change protests reach important stage


Socialist Party news and analysis

No to Boris, no to Hunt: general election now

Universal Credit forces women into prostitution

Charging scandal in Warrington and Halton NHS Trust

Union action can tackle 58% working poverty rate

Unsafe, unaffordable housing scandal

Them & Us


International socialist news and analysis

Ratcheting up of Iran-US tensions

Sudan solidarity protests


Workplace news and analysis

Coordinate the fightback! Come to the 2019 NSSN conference

Unions and campaigners discuss fight to end education crisis

Striking workers defy the race to the bottom at Glasgow and Aberdeen airports

Bridgend NSSN meeting determined to fight for Ford workers

Unison conference: Socialist Party members call for anti-cuts fight and build left challenge

Salisbury South Western Rail strikers determined

Midlands mental health workers walk out against privatisation

Notts college contract dispute

Colloids workers strike to support sacked rep

Harrogate academy workers strike against cuts


Socialist history

35th anniversary of the Battle of Orgreave


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Angry Barking fire victims demand action from landlords and authorities

Hull trade union festival a great success

Stop the Devon and Somerset fire service cuts


Opinion

Opinion: capitalism's Fukushima showed same recklessness as Stalinism's Chernobyl

The Socialist inbox


 

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Related links:

Unison:

triangleElectricians pay victory

triangleBig Unison south east regional meeting votes for anti-cuts position

triangleLambeth Unison letter

triangleMake a stand: set legal no-cuts council budgets

triangleReverse Unison's undemocratic nomination of Blairite Starmer

Anti-cuts:

triangleIs there an anti-cuts rebellion in Scotland?

triangleUnite regional committee votes to support anti-cuts Enfield councillor

triangleEast London Socialist Party: Corbyn, Labour and the struggle for an anti-cuts alternative

triangleSocialist Party's Sue Atkins wins big support for anti-cuts, socialist policies

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