Thursday, 31 December 2009

GP member visiting Gaza

Ian, a GP member visiting Gaza now has his blog linked to GPTU blog (see links on right).

Wednesday, 30 December 2009


Subject: {climate-change-trade-union-netwk} World Conference of Social Movements
Date: Wed, 30 Dec 2009 19:29:09 +0000

Seasons Greetings!

Bolivian President Evo Morales announced on 20th December that a world conference of social movements will be held in Bolivia, as a response to the failure of COP15. The meeting will take place on April 22, which is the International Day of Mother Earth. “It will be a great meeting where we’ll be able to come up with solutions for the problem of climate change,” he said.

It would be worth raising this meeting in your organization as soon as possible so that we can encourage trade unions to send delegations to this important meeting.

For my analysis of Copenhagen see

Happy New Year,


Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Norwich Green Party councillor in Gaza house arrest

Norwich Green Party councillor in Gaza house arrest
see post on Green left blog

Sunday, 27 December 2009


See GL blog linked to this blog

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

London Federation Of Green Parties' debate on Barking

Last night after a passionate debate, the London Federation of Green Parties voted to call upon Barking Greens not to stand a candidate in the general election in Barking constituency against Nick Griffin. Several speeches were made both for and against the motion and, Larry O’Hara’s comments on this list were read out by Noel Lynch in his contribution. It was not an easy decision as many contributors stated that they were sympathetic to some arguments made in opposition and, I think the decision made affirms the view that a Labour victory in Barking would be the lesser of two evils.

P.Murry (personal capacity)

Climate Change: Copenhagan cock-up and contrarian conspiracy theory.

Climate Change: Copenhagan cock-up and contrarian conspiracy theory.
By Steve Durrant (Manchester GP) on Green Left blog.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Barking: Should the Greens stand?

Green Left statement

"Green Left welcomes the decision of the London Federation of Green Parties to call for no Green Party candidate to stand in the forthcoming general election for the constituency of Barking, in order to maximise the anti-Fascist vote. We regard this as a decision in favour of all progressive groups campaigning against the BNP in Barking and we pledge our full support for all efforts to defeat Nick Griffin and the BNP there. Despite wishing to provide voters with a progressive alternative, under the circumstances we consider it the best strategic decision not to stand a candidate in this election. We call on all voters in Barking to vote against the politics of hate and the BNP"

Joel Kovel speaking at meetings in the new year

As many of you are aware, Joel Kovel will be visiting the UK in the New Year.

Joel is an academic and leading member of the Green Party of the United States who has been active in the peace and anti nuclear movements since the Vietnam War. He was part in the Pastors for Peace Friendship movement which broke the US blockade of Cuba in 1994, was Green Party candidate for Senator from New York and ran for the Party's Presidential nomination in 2000. Although originally a psychiatrist and psychotherapist, since 1980 Joel has academic, teaching and researching in the fields of politics and communication, but last year was witch-hunted from his post of Distinguished Professor at Bard College as a result the publication of his book, Overcoming Zionism: Creating a Single Democratic State in Israel-Palestine.

As well as the London conference on Zionism on Jan 16th and the Manchester conference on Capitalism and Climate on Jan 23rd, Joel will also be speaking to members of London Green Party and friends as per below. The meeting is, of course, open to all Green Party and GL members and friends.

Joel Kovel will be speaking on the situation in the United States post-Copenhagen and on his book, The Enemy of Nature: The End of Capitalism or The End of the World? at an open London Federation of Green Parties discussion meeting at 7.30pm on Monday 25th January at the Lucas Arms, Grays Inn Road (three minutes walk from Kings Cross Tube Station).

This will be a fascinating meeting and a good introduction to the width of current green politics. Bring your friends as well as your fellow members!

“Hands of my Workmate”

MOTION to the next GL meeting an almost identical motion also to be taken by the next Green Party Trades Union meeting and another almost identical motion was passed NEM CON by London Federation of Green Parties on 21/12/2009

“ Green Left agrees to support the “Hands of my Workmate” campaign, which aims to prevent the use of Immigration law and the Borders Agency by employers to intimidate migrant workers, especially those who seek to exercise their rights to join and organise Trades Unions.”

Aims of HOMW

We believe:

1. That the introduction of immigration checks and immigration raids in the workplace is divisive and damaging to union organisation and is designed to create pressure on migrant workers not to organise or to take part in action.
2. That companies who operate outsourced services such as cleaning, wish to operate in a non union, low wage, environment and are using immigration checks as a weapon to drive down pay and conditions. If they succeed in lowering conditions for one part of the workforce—then all are damaged.
3. An injury to one is an injury to all. Workers of all countries of origin require unity to fight for secure jobs, decent wages and safe working conditions and immigration checks at work simply divide and weaken us.
4. Fascist groups like the BNP have grown on the back of a climate of fear about migration generated by politicians seeking to lay the blame for economic crisis at the door of working people from other countries.
5. That the students and staff of SOAS who launched immediate protests, including a student occupation, to win protection for their migrant workmates/students are to be congratulated for forcing their management to request the immediate issue of papers to the cleaners held in detention, the return of those detained and to acknowledge the lecturers UCU policy of non co-operation with immigration controls as well as agreeing to reconsider the outsourcing of cleaning contracts.
6. That immigration raids in the workplace risk the health and safety of our members by bringing the potential for violence into our workplace through the entry of riot style squads hunting down workers and also create stress for all staff who witness such raids or who have colleagues & friends detained in them.
7. Employers do not need to, and should not, facilitate such raids.

The Green Party Trade Union Group supports members of Unite who are striking against Fujitsu,

The Green Party Trade Union Group supports members of Unite who are striking against their employer, Fujitsu, in protest about recent job cuts, pay freezes and the closing of a final salary pension scheme. We note that a Union spokesperson suggests that Fujitsu is using the recession as cover for cost-cutting at the expense of its employees. The Fujitsu strikers should be supported by other Trades Unionists and Fujitsu management should cease their unjust strategy.

--- On Fri, 18/12/09, Andy Hewett wrote:

From: Andy Hewett
Subject: [GP-TU] Fujitsu workers on strike
To: "gptu list"
Date: Friday, 18 December, 2009, 14:26


Support the Fujitsu workers striking over job cuts, pay freeze and closure of their final salary pension scheme:

more info:

Proposed strike action by British Airways cabin staff

GPTU notes that the proposed strike action by British Airways cabin staff has been called off due a high court injunction. This verdict overturns a very strongly supported strike vote and seems to be a biased interference with Trades Union democracy. Reports suggest that even if BA staff leaving had been excluded from the ballot, which was the reason given for granting the injunction, there would still have been a majority vote for a strike. Management’s resort to legal action does not solve the underlying causes of the dispute and may even worsen matters.

GPTU therefore still supports British Airways cabin staffing their dispute.The threat by management to worsen their pay, their conditions and cut back on jobs is something which organised workers are right to resist. This is especially so in a climate where employers are mounting attacks on workers, if BA management get their way many other workers, in other industries could be the next to suffer.

As Greens we are critical of the aviation industry and we do believe its polluting activities need to be cut back, but we are committed to a JUST transition to a low carbon economy, not one where workers are made to suffer for problems which are not of their making. BA managements and all other employers should be negotiating with Unions and governments to ensure that the changes necessary to prevent disastrous damage caused by climate change can take place without workers being exploited.”
Guardian 17/12/2009

British Airways cabin crew voted this week to strike over staffing levels on flights. Here, one crew member, who asked to remain anonymous, explains the reasons why.

I was so proud to work for British Airways when I joined 13 years ago. It was an excellent airline. It is only in the last three years that everything has gone downhill. I am not proud to work for it any more.

Flights are taking off and landing, and everyone is being fed. When those doors shut and we are stuck in a metal tube with 300 people, the company knows we will always do whatever it takes to get the job done. If we don't, it is only we who suffer.
But staffing levels are down to the bone – on long-haul flights, crew have been cut from 16 to 14. We are at the receiving end of more abuse because passengers can't understand why the in-flight service is slower. We have had a lot more passengers saying, "I don't know how you do it," because it is noticeable just how much we are having to do. I try to avoid working in business class now because one crew member has been cut there so it is now the slowest service. But the airline needs those business class passengers.

We used to serve up the hot meal and drink in two-and-a-half hours. Now it is taking three-and-a-half. It is worse when something goes wrong. We have numerous problems with our in-flight entertainment system. When it works, it's superb. But it keeps breaking down and takes time to get fixed.

I'm not happy about striking for 12 days over Christmas. I hope people realise we are not doing this for the sake of it. None of us are over the moon about the timing but we have been forced into it. The union suggested cost-cutting measures and this dispute could have been settled months ago but BA dragged its heels. It's not just a case of fighting for one or two crew members who have been taken off flights – we are fighting for all our terms and conditions, our livelihoods.

I don't have any respect for BA chief executive Willie Walsh whatsoever. It is said average cabin-crew wages are £35,000 but my basic pay is still only £14,000. On top of that, when I am on duty, I get allowances for breakfast, lunch and supper. These depend on which country you work in – you don't get much in India. About 10% of my total salary is extra payment for working long hours – 15 or 16-hour days. Take 1,000 BA crew together and their average wage would be £25-28,000. I know people who work for Iberia, Lufthansa and KLM and they get paid more and get more days off. The claim that we are paid twice what Virgin staff receive is not accurate. They receive food allowances in cash. When you take these into account, they earn almost as much as we do.

It is very demoralising. On my last flight, we were all complaining to each other and wondering how we were going to get this or that done in time. I have had enough. I am actively looking for another job.
As told to Patrick Barkham

Monday, 21 December 2009

Update on the UNISON Four witchhunts:

----- Forwarded Message ----

Jamie Davis sent a message to the members of "Defend the Four - Defend Branch Rights" Campaign.

Subject: Brian's Appeal Hearing


Monday 11th January 2010 from 8.30 am

Holiday Inn, Carburton Street, W1

NEAREST TUBES Regents Park / Great Portland Street / Warren Street

Please come along to support Brian on the first day of his appeal hearing. This is the final of the hearings and completes UNISON's internal disciplinary process. It will determine whether or not the bans of 3 years for Kas and Glenn, 4 years for Suz and 5 years for Brian are imposed.
It is important that UNISON is clear on the anger felt by members over the witchhunts.

Monday, 14 December 2009

13/12/2009 HARROW MOSQUE Demo against the provocative march by neo-fascists and racists.

Martin Francis GP candidate for Brent North addressing the demo. (Martin's account of the denmo is given below).

L to R (physically at least!)Shahrar Ali: GP candidate for Brent Central, Sean Thompson: Camden GP and Martin Francis.

The GPTU banner

Harrow mosque

You tube video of demo at and

Statement by P.Murry issued prior to demo.
As Secretary of the Green Party Trade Union Group and as a Steering Committee member of Green Left I wish to send the support of both of these organisations for the demonstration on 13/12/2009 against the provocative march by neo-fascists and racists.

I hope GPTU and GL members will join this demonstration which is fully in line with Green Party anti-racist policies. I know that all local Green Party parliamentary candidates have already expressed their strong opposition to such neo-fascist and racist actions which are designed to divide the communities and people of North West London against each other.

Martin's blog post on the demo
Stephen Gash of Stop the Islamisation of Europe (SIOE) promised 1,500 people at his anti-Islam demonstration outside the Harrow Mosque.

In fact fewer than 15 turned up initially, even though numbers were augmented by English Defence League supporters, and the rather sad little group, one wearing a blond wig and another a santa hat, were corralled into a cold car park and protected by police. A couple of them made speeches to the windswept car park observed by press photographers who out-numbered them 3 to 1 - all against the background of chants from several hundred anti-Fascist demonstrators, who sometimes broke into open gales of laughter at the sheer absurdity of the lonely little band in the car park. Stephen Gash the 'leader' even managed to be late and nearly miss the event! There is more than a touch of Captain Mainwaring about the man - without the lovability.

Given these numbers it is surely time for the local press stop building up the group and cease publicising their baseless claims and their incitant comments.

Hundreds of anti-Fascist demonstrators made it clear that the Fascists were not welcome in Harrow and the diversity of the demonstrators once again showed that the local community were united in defence of the Harrow mosque.

Ajmal Masroor, a spokesman for the Harrow Mosque, crossed to the corral and spoke to representatives of the SIOE and EDL and invited them into the Mosque to discuss their concerns. His invitation was turned down and Stephen Gash said he wanted to talk to the Home Office instead. A similar invitation has earlier been issued by the group British Muslims for a Secular Democracy without success.

The SIOE has thus shown it is not really interested in dialogue or debate, but just in creating division. In my speech to the Solidarity Vigil, as Green Party parliamentary candidate for Brent North, I pointed out that what the SIOE, EDL and BNP have in common is racism and xenophobia. Despite the SIOE's website claim that racism is 'the lowest form of stupidity' they are quite happy to get 'nod and a wink' support from the EDL. At the September 11th demonstration anti-Mosque demonstrators openly gave Nazi salutes and EDL members were present again today.

The SIOE attempt to 'soften up' an area by organising a provocative demonstration, with EDL help, and any reaction is then depicted as Muslim violence. Having caused division the BNP then move in by leafletting the area, as they did in Harrow after the September 11th demonstration, trying to build electoral support on the back of the dirty deeds of their allies. It is important that we see them as overlapping organisations with a similar agenda, and take with a pinch of salt their internicine squabbles. The SIOE may be absurd and today's demonstration comical, but the racist and Fascist nature of the groups that build on their provocations must be recognised and their activities firmly opposed.

I congratulate Brent and Harrow Unite Against Fascism for organising a highly effective, united and peaceful demonstration


Labels: Brent and Harrow UAF, Brent Green Party, EDL, English Defence League, Harrow Mosque, SIOE, Stop Islamisation of Europe, Unite Against Fascism

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Campaigning against a new Academy in Lambeth: MONDAY 14th DEC, Lambeth Town Hall, Brixton, 6pm , (Brixton Tube) bring banners.

Campaigning against a new Academy in Lambeth: MONDAY 14th DEC, Lambeth Town Hall, Brixton, 6pm , (Brixton Tube) bring banners.

Forwarded from STA colleagues & Martin Francis (Brent GP and NUT)

Dear all,
We are campaigning against the building of a new Academy in Lambeth. It will be on the site of a primary school, squeezing the Primary onto a section of the site and building a 6 form entry Secondary on the rest. The site is right in the middle of a housing estate and will mean the loss of green open space and many trees. Local residents do not want a school on that site, because although Lambeth is short of school places, this is not the area where places are needed; there are three other secondaries close by.

Join our Lobby to show that trade unions will not stand by and see more public spaces handed over to the private sector. The name of the sponsor will be revealed on Friday, but whoever it is, they will not be made welcome by unions in the borough. We want schools that are accountable to us and that will honour school teachers' pay and conditions for members and local authority conditions for support staff. Join us on:

MONDAY 14th DEC, Lambeth Town Hall, Brixton, 6pm , (Brixton Tube) bring banners.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009


Host: London MetSU - London Met Students' Union

Type: Causes - Protest

Network: Global
Date: Tuesday, 15 December 2009
Time: 16:00 - 18:00
Location: Moorgate Building
Street: 84 Moorgate
Town/City: London, United Kingdom

Following yesterday's EMERGENCY meeting in North Campus, attended by approx 80-100 students. It is very clear that the students have voted to support the Staff Unions (UCU & Unison) in PROTEST FOR THE BOARD OF GOVERNORS TO RESIGN - NEXT TUESDAY 15TH DECEMBER - 4:00PM - MOORGATE BUILDING


The recording of the meeting last night features prominent speeches from the NUS, UCU, UNISON and YOUR STUDENTS' UNION.
It can be downloaded from the following link : (

The Melville-Deloitte reports presented for you all to see and judge by your own accords.

Sir David Melville's Report (

Accountancy Firm, Deliotte's Report ( )

The Board of Governors of London Metropolitan University are meeting on 15th December to consider their response to the recent reports into the financial fiasco they got us into.

Both staff unions, UNISON and UCU, and London Met students union, are now calling for their resignations.

The Staff Union will be presenting them with their petition


* Tuesday 15th December,
* 4.30pm Moorgate Building, (see map

This is now a matter of survival - the government has threatened to close London Metropolitan University if they don't go (Link to The Independent newspaper article -

Bring banners, placards, tell everyone you know to leave work/ lectures early - this is our university, we value it highly, and the BOARD OF GOVERNORS HAVE to go. They've done enough damage already, it's time for a Fresh start for London Met!

Join the Lobby - please forward to all your contacts.

Reinstate UCL cleaner Juan Carlos Piedra - sacked for union activity

Ancient greek nudist joins protestors in demo for reinstatement of Juan Carlos Piedra:UCL steps 10/12/2009

Juan Carlos Piedra (centre) at UCL demo 10/12/2009

SOAS Unison banner at demo for reinstatement of Juan Carlos Piedra:UCL 10/12/2009

UCU banner at Demo for Juan Carlos Piedra 10/12/2009

Picket Harbour Exchange: Reinstate Carlos at UCL now!
Host: Reinstate UCL cleaner - sacked for union activity
Type: Causes - Protest
Network: Global
Date: Friday, 11 December 2009
Time: 13:00 - 14:00
Location: Harbour Exchange, Canary Wharf (South Quay DLR station)

Description We're going to be picketing Harbour Exchange the day after our demo at UCL - HE is where Carlos has been placed by O&G before, where he suffered victimisation for his union activity, and where we know O&G will be forced to listen to us if we make big enough a scene.

If you'd like to join us from UCL, we'll be meeting in the Quad at 12:15 before making our way there by tube & DLR. Bring your Oyster card!

This is a real chance to make a difference to Carlos's campaign, so please do come along if you have an hour free!



Juan Carlos Piedra (above), has worked for Office and General for 1 year. O&G are the cleaning contractors at University College London (UCL). Juan Carlos was transferred from Harbour Exchange (Land Securities, Canary Wharf) to work in UCL after being called into a disciplinary meeting and warned about his trade union activities. He was told that his work was not the problem.

The only problem was his attitude - that he told people about the union, about their right to go tribunal if they were badly treated. Two days after being transferred to UCL he was called into a meeting and told that he had been seen at SOAS protesting against the immigration raid and at union protests. Then he was told "there is no job for you here" and was made redundant.

Juan Carlos was then reinstated in Exchange Tower (Canary Wharf) after UCL unions Unite and UCU called a protest, but he was not given the same conditions and he continues to be seriously victimised there for union activity.


Picket for the right to be in a union. FRIDAY 11th DECEMBER 13.00. HARBOUR EXCHANGE,

E-mail for further info.

Sign the petition:

Saturday, 5 December 2009



January 16th – Palestine Conference in London (Green Left/Socialist Resistance) with Joel Kovel and others including Phelim Mac Cafferty from GL.
Friends House Euston Rd NW1 (euston BR & Tfl stations) 10-5.30pm

January 23rd – Climate and Capitalism Conference in Manchester (Green Left/Socialist Resistance) with Joel Kovel and others.

January 30th – Green Left General Meeting in Birmingham (details to be confirmed).