Friday, 16 December 2011

Don't give up the pensions fight

The government's "final offer" is no improvement. There is no extra money on offer. The government still wants public sector workers to work longer, pay more and get less. They haven't moved on core issues:

* Fifty percent rise in pension contributions.
* Normal pension age to rise to the state retirement age. Retirement at 68 for those 34 and under.
* Pensions indexed at CPI instead of RPI. A cut for all existing pensioners.

We agree with those union general secretaries who are against accepting this offer. We ask all union general secretaries, if it was right to strike against these proposals on November 30th how it can be right to accept them now? Ordinary trade union members have demonstrated their determination to resist these unfair and unnecessary changes; we call on our trade union leaders reject the Government's bullying tactics and reject their unacceptable offer.

Alex Kenny        NUT Executive member (Inner London)
Andrew Baisley        Camden NUT branch secretary
Dave Harvey        NUT Executive member (Outer London)
Martin Powell-Davis        NUT Executive member (Inner London)
Mark Campbell        UCU Executive member
Liz Lawrence        UCU Executive member
Sean Vernell        UCU Executive member
Loraine Monk        UCU Executive member
Christine Vie        UCU Executive member
David Armstrong        UCU Executive member
Guy Stoate        UCU Executive member


Acknowledgements to Doug Rouxel & Romayne Phoenix

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Defence of Public Education Conference, Saturday 10 March 2012 – University of London Union, Malet Street

UCU will be holding a major conference on the defence of public education in London on Saturday 10 March 2012.

Its aim is to bring together unions, students and organisations with an interest in defending our education system from cuts, privatisation and the institutionalisation of social inequality.

The conference will include speakers on the break-up of the school system, the attacks on further, adult, prison and ESOL education at a time of rising unemployment, and on the abject poverty of the government’s vision for the future of higher education.

There will be an opportunity for delegates to discuss how we can most effectively unite around a principled defence of our education system.

Attendance at the conference will be free for all UCU members.

Victory at Langdon Park(?)

NUT members at Langdon School, Newham have agreed to suspend further strikes and return to work on Wednesday 14 December, following a series of important concessions by officers of the Local Authority in the last few days.

The overwhelmingvote was taken at a strikers' meeting on Tuesday following a thorough evaluation of what was being offered. The range of measures to allay their grievances concerning excessive workloadand oppressive management will come into force immediately.

But the NUT is equally clear that more strikes will be called if the measures do not work. The dispute will only be settled when all staff grievances have been thoroughly addressed.

NUT NEC member Nick Grant said that:

"This is an excellent result. Mass scabbing organised by the school managers could not break the solidarity of Langdon's majority of teachers, 70 of whom struck again today."

"Collective action has forced previously compliant Council officers to act as well as decreasing parents' confidence in the head teacher."

"Strikers in turn are very grateful for the hundreds of messages  received from across the UK. This is not the end of the dispute, but should go a very long way to redressing the core injustices felt by teachers."

A joint public statement is expected from the NUT and Newham Local Authority tomorrow.

acknowledgements to Martin francis

Friday, 9 December 2011


Sent: Friday, December 09, 2011 11:32 AM
Subject: Exciting news! Meeting Tuesday
Camden Town Hall, Judd St, WC1 (Kings X tube)
The meeting will discuss these important and exciting developments and draw up an action plan for the New year:
It seems likely that a national demonstration against the Health Bill will be called in January or February, backed by the Labour Party, Unite and hopefully the TUC. This is something we have been campaigning for, and will be a fantastic opportunity to mobilise the massive opposition to the Health Bill. We need to start planning now to make it a huge show of strength demanding that the Bill is dropped.
As the evidence mounts that the Health Bill means the privatisation of the NHS, the BMA has now come our in total opposition to the Bill in a vote that piles even more pressure on the government. Meanwhile the government has been struggling to push clause by clause of the Bill through the Lords.

Hundreds of thousands of health workers joined the massive public sector strikes last week laying down a gauntlet to the government over pensions and the future of public services. Hundreds joined picket lines outside hospitals, clinics and ambulance stations across London reawakening trade union organisation in the NHS. The strike had fantastic support from members of Unison, Unite, the Society of Radiographers and Chartered Society of Physiotherapists, and may be joined by the RCN and BMA next time.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Unilever workers in first UK strike against greedy boardroom raid on their pensions

acknowledgements to Chris Cotton                                                               7 December 2011

Unilever workers fighting an unjustified attack on their pensions will take part in their first ever strike action on Friday 9 December.

More than 2,500 workers from Unilever's sites at Purfleet, Port Sunlight, Warrington, Leeds, Crumlin, Gloucester, Manchester, Burton-on-Trent and Chester will join picket lines from 7.00 am as part of a widespread day of action to protect their pensions.

The stoppages will hit production of the global giant's leading brands, including Dove, Marmite, PG Tips, Pot Noodle and Hellman’s mayonnaise.

Unite, the lead union at Unilever, is furious with the company’s plans to axe the final salary pension scheme, which will see the retirement income of thousands of staff slashed by up to 40 Per cent.  Unilever promised to secure the scheme for its existing members when it closed the final salary pension scheme to new entrants in 2008.  Yet the company intends to push ahead with plans to close the scheme to its existing members and transfer them to an inferior career average revalued earning (CARE) scheme with effect from 1 July next year.

Unite is urging Unilever to reconsider these unjust proposals and return to negotiations with the trade unions.

Jennie Formby, Unite national officer, said: “Thousands of our members will walkout on Friday to show their disgust at Unilever’s unacceptable attack on their pensions.

"Their pension fund is financially robust and yet Unilever, a highly profitable company, has shown little willingness to negotiate seriously to avert this dispute.  This is a disgraceful incidence of a wealthy global company using the recession as cover to raid the pensions of the less well off.
“Unite is demanding that Unilever reconsiders its plans. The company is being driven by nothing other than wanton greed, putting its profit and shareholders first at the expense of the staff who have worked so hard to make Unilever the global money maker it is today.

"Striking workers wearing face masks of Unilever’s chief executive, Paul Polman, will be demanding ‘hand off our pensions'.  Wealthy Mr Polman should reflect on what he would do if he was ‘faced’ with the pension cuts that he plans to impose.

"Unite remains ready and willing to talk at any time."

For more information, please contact Jennie Formby on 07702 206 436 or Karen Viquerat, Unite communications officer, on 07768 931316.
Notes to editors:
Unite members will join picket lines at Unilever sites:
Purfleet  Factory (Hellman’s mayo/I can’t Believe It’s not Butter)
London Road,
Essex, RM19 1SD

Commencing at 19:00 hours on Thursday 8 December, 2011
Concluding at 06:59 hours on Saturday 10 December 2011

Trafford Park Factory (PG Tips)
Trafford Park Road, Trafford Park,
Manchester, M17 1NH

Time: Commencing at 21:50 hours on Thursday 8 December 2011
Concluding at 06:59 hours on Saturday 10tDecember 2011

Port Sunlight Factory (laundry products)
Port Sunlight,
Merseyside, CH62 4ZD

Commencing at 18:00 hours on Thursday 8 December 2011
Concluding at 17:59 hours on Friday 9 December 2011

Gloucester Factory (Wall’s ice cream)
Corinium Avenue,
Gloucester, GL4 3BW

Commencing at 06:30 hours on Friday 9 December 2011
Concluding at 06:29 hours on Saturday 10 December 2011

Crumlin Factory (Pot Noodle)
Croespenmaen Industrial Estate,
Gwent, NP11 3AG

Commencing at 06:00 hours on Friday 9 December 2011
Concluding at 05:59 hours on Saturday 10 December 2011

Warrington Factory (laundry products)
2 Liverpool Road,
Cheshire, WA5 1AA
Commencing at 18:00 hours on Thursday 8 December 2011
Concluding at 17:59 hours on Friday 9 December 2011

Burton Factory (Marmite)
Wellington Road,
Staffordshire, DE14 2AB

Commencing at 06:00 hours on Friday 9 December 2011
Concluding at 05:59 hours on Saturday 10 December 2011

Norwich Factory (Colman's),
Coleman’s of Norwich,
Norwich, NR1 2DD
Commencing at 06:00 hours on Friday 9 December  2011
Concluding at 05:59 hours on Saturday 10 December 2011

Leeds Factory (Dove deodorant)
Coal Road,
Leeds, LS14 2AR
Commencing at 07:00 hours on Friday 9 December 2011
Concluding at 06:69 hours on Saturday 10 December 2011

Port Sunlight Research & Development site
Quarry Road East
Merseyside, CH63 3JW
24 hour stoppage commencing at 00:01 hours on Friday 9 December 2011

Unilever Europe IT
Unity House,
St David's Park,
Ewloe, Deeside

24 hour stoppage commencing at 00:01 hours on Friday 9 December 2011

Colworth Research & Development site
Colworth Science Park,
Bedford, MK44 1LQ

24 hour stoppage commencing at 00:01 hours on Friday 9 December 2011

Monday, 5 December 2011


"We are appalled at developments in the dispute at Langdon School in Newham, east London, which started over issues of workload and oppressive management.

The head has employed up to 46 scab supply teachers and brought them in to try to break a lawful, balloted strike by NUT members at the school. Worse still the local authority, and a Labour one at that, has put this strikebreaking force on temporary local authority contracts when they scab.

This shocking move is unprecedented in education disputes and the employment of a strike breaking force has shades of Rupert Murdoch's union busting tactics under Thatcher's government in the mid 1980s.
We totally condemn this move and see it as a threat to every trade unionist.

We call upon all our unions and organisations to ensure the widest possible condemnation of the head and Newham local authority and to work for the fullest possible solidarity with the Langdon School NUT to beat this attack on the basic trade union right to take legal industrial action."


Noel Lynch - Chair, London Green Party and Green Party London Assembly Candidate
Peter Murry - Secretary, Green Party Trade Union Group, UCU
Martin Francis - NUT, Brent Green Party, School Governor.
Doug Rouxel - South East Essex Green Party, UCU NEC.
Joseph Healy - Green Party Trade Union Group Treasurer, UNITE Voluntary Sector.
Paul Philo - Brighton Green Party.
Owen Clayton - York Green Party.
Lynton North, West Devon Green Party
Tom Maltby Green Party TU Group / Hackney. UNISON /TUC
Will Duckworth - NASUWT member
Derek Wall Green Left Committee
Malcolm Bailey Green Left Committee
Romayne Phoenix Green Left Committee, Coalition of Resistance Chair, Lewisham GP
Howard Thorp Green Left Committee
Jim McGinley Green Left, GPTU, NUT
Josiah Mortimer University of York Green Party
tony matthews cardiff and vale GP

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Carillion solar panels: Job Threat

from: Martin Empson, Treasurer, Campaign Against Climate Change Trade Union group

With all the activity around the strikes last week and the demonstration this weekend, the news about 1000 jobs underthreat at Carillion in Newcastle may have been overlooked. Carillion is one of the largest installers of solar panels and with government reductions to the "feed in" tariff - the amount of money that is given to those who sell electricity from renewable sources, back to the national grid, there is likely to be a drop in demand for the panels.
There is a BBC report here:
and a Guardian report here

As part of the climate jobs campaign, I think it is important that the CaCC TU group stands with those workers who face losing their jobs. If anyone on this email list is in the Newcastle area, or has contacts with the Carillion workers (or their trade union), or indeed knows of any campaigns, public meetings etc that we can publicise, please drop me a line off list.

My contact details are below,

Martin Empson
Treasurer, Campaign Against Climate Change Trade Union group
079 585 35231

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Strike! Wednesday’s events around London

Wednesday sees the largest UK-wide strike for decades, if not ever. If you’re on strike best of luck to you – if you aren’t here’s a list of things you can do around London on the day to show your support.

There are also hundreds of picket lines, far too many to list so if you want to visit one just stumble about and you’re bound to trip over one sooner or later!

Main march: 12 noon, Lincolns Inn Fields march to rally on Victoria Embankment
Education feeder march: 12 noon, ULU, Malet Street, WC1E 7HY
Barnet Hospital protest 12 – 2pm
Brent – 9.30am, rally at the Torch Pub, 1-5 Bridge Road, Wembley, HA9 9AB. Backed by ATL, GMB. PCS. NAHT, NASUWT, NUT, UCU and Unison – the bar will be open!
Brixton: strikers’ breakfast 9-10.45am, Vida Walsh Centre, Windrush Square, SW9 7AA
Brixton: 10.45—11.30 Local Rally, Windrush Square, SW9 7AA
Camden: rally 11am Camden Town Hall
Croydon – 10.30am, assemble in Queen Elizabeth Gardens, Park Lane, Croydon, CR9 3JY, for rally and march.
Croydon Hospital Protest 12 – 2pm
Ealing – 10.30am, assemble at Ealing Town Hall, W5 2BY.
Euston - Noon to 2pm, protest outside UCLH, 235 Euston Road, NW1 2BU.
GLA buildings: protest 12 noon
Gravesend: 12 noon rally Three Daws Pub, Gravesend, South East DA11 0BJ
Greenwich - noon to 2pm, protest outside Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Stadium Road, Greenwich, SE18 4QH.
Hackney - noon, protest outside Hackney Town Hall, Mare Street, E8 1EA.
Haringey: 10.00am, CONEL (College of NE London), Tottenham High Rd: UCU, Haringey TUC and Haringey Alliance for Public Services
Haringey - noon, protest outside Haringey Civic Centre, High Road, N22 9SB.
Harrow - noon to 2pm, protest outside Northwick Park Hospital, Watford Road, Harrow, HA1 3UJ.
Hillingdon: High Street, Uxbridge, Hillingdon, Greater London UB8 12 noon
Islington: UNISON Circle House, 1-3 HIghbury Station Road, N1 1SE 7am
Islington: Islington Green Protest 12 noon
Kingston upon Thames: Outside Kingston University, Penrhyn Road, Kingston upon Thames KT1 9.30am: Called by Hands Off Our Pensions in Surrey (HOOPS), Kingston GMB, Kingston Anti-Cuts Group, Surrey UNISON and Surrey Save Our Services.
Lambeth Protest 10am, Windrush Square
Lambeth - noon, protest in Windrush Square, SW2 1JG.
Lewisham - noon to 2pm, protest outside Lewisham Hospital, Lewisham High Street, SE13 6LH.
Paddington - Noon to 2pm, protest outside St Mary’s Hospital, Praed Street, W2 1NY.
Southwark ‘Strikers canteen’ 10.30 – 11.30 London Rd, Elephant & Castle then march to Lincolns Inn Fields
Tooting - Noon to 2pm, protest outside St George’s Hospital, Blackshaw Road, Tooting, SW17 0QT.
Tower Bridge - noon, protest outside Greater London Authority, Westminster Bridge Road, SE1 2AA.
Tower Hamlets - noon, protest outside Tower Hamlets Town Hall, 236 Cable Street, E1 0BL.
Wandsworth – 11am, rally outside Wandsworth Town Hall, High Street, SW18 2PU.
Westminster - noon to 2pm, protest outside St Thomas’ Hospital, Westminster Bridge Road, SE1 7EH.
London Hospitals

Blood Transfusion, Oxford Street 12 – 2pm
Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, Fulham 12- 2pm
LAS HQ, Waterloo 12 – 2pm
Lewisham Hospital protest 12 – 2pm
London Hospital, Whitechapel 12 -2pm
Northwick Park Hospital protest 12 – 2pm
Queen Elizabeth Hospital protest 12 – 2pm
Queens Hospital protest 12 – 2pm
St Pancras Hospital, Camden & Islington 12 – 2pm
St Thomas’ Hospital protest – 12 – 2pm
St Mary’s Hospital 12 – 2pm
St Georges Hospital Protest 12 – 2pm
UCLH protest 12 – 2pm

Monday, 21 November 2011

GPTU Appeal; New Leaflets and a New Banner for Xmas

Happy Winterval, Give us a fiver for a banner and some leaflets,

The Green Party Trade Union Group is festively begging for your dosh. Our new leaflet has been successful and much demanded, but we are running out of replacements. You can print out from the on-line pdf accessible via the blog at But we still need a stock of printed out leaflets for stalls, events etc. We also need a new banner after the old one vanished last March. Ideally we’d like to commission a hand-made William Morris style job, but all we can probably run to is a cheap plastic one using a design by Romayne Phoenix.

Currently we are not getting any financial support from GPEW, we’ll keep asking but I doubt if we’ll get much or if we get anything that we’ll get enough for what we need to do now, so please fish us out some money from your copious pockets, wallets and purses.

Happy winter solstice (to those who celebrate it)

GPTU Secretary

Please send donations to GPTU Treasurer Joseph Healy at 98a Grosvenor Terrace, Camberwell, London SE5 0NW.

Or direct to the The Green Party Trade Union Group account , Royal Bank of Scotland, Hoborn Branch, 127-8 High Holborn, LondonWC1V 6PG
A/c No: 10144969 Sort Code: 160053    

Friday, 18 November 2011

NUJ Release: Stop calling disabled people scroungers

acknowledgements to Alan Wheatley

NUJ Release: Stop calling disabled people scroungers – Disability Alliance UK

by carerwatch

Disabled People are being demonised in the press as “work shy” and “scroungers” and as a result are facing hostility from the public and in some cases physical attacks.
In response, the NUJ’s Disabled Members Council has issued a statement urging journalists to operate within our recognised code of ethics, which calls in all NUJ members and media colleagues to “support and sustain fair and balanced reporting of matters relating to disabled people”. 
The council talks of a drip feed of stories relating to incapacity benefit fraud, when the facts show it is, at 0.3 per cent, the lowest of all welfare benefit frauds. 
carerwatch | 16 November 2011 at 18:39 | Categories: benefitsDisabledwelfare reform | URL:

Thursday, 17 November 2011

SERTUC LGBT Network is leafleting for 30 November this Saturday in Soho and Shoreditch


Sent on behalf of SERTUC LGBT Network Secretary, Thierry Schaffauser

SERTUC LGBT Network is leafleting for 30 November this Saturday in Soho and Shoreditch, meet -
5:30 pm outside Clone Zone, Old Compton St London

The Morning Star is the Voice of Our Movement - it is our daily paper. It is vital our paper continues - therefore we ask all Trade Unionists of good will to make a donation to support our paper -

You can make a donation by credit / debit card by ringing - 020.8510.0815 or by post to -
Morning Star, William Rust House,

Saturday, 5 November 2011


I have organised the following event.

'What is capitalism and what are the alternatives?' Discussion Tuesday, 8th Nov at 14:00 Occupy the London Stock Exchange St Pauls

Caroline Lucas has been down to speak a couple of times.

Incidentally my argument is for common pool property rights see Karl Marx and Elinor Ostrom.

A good discussion can be found here if this is a new concept

And I wrote a think piece here for the Sustainable Development Commission

And there is a video of my main thoughts on all this here

Indigenous and Workers to power!

Rally over fire station closure

Firefighters in the West Midlands are staging a rally against the possible closure of Halesowen Fire Station.Supporters of the campaign will be gathering in Somers' Square in Halesowen town centre.

Andy Dennis, secretary of the Fire Brigades Union said: "This is about community and public safety, we don't want to see that cover disappear."

 The West Midlands Fire and Rescue Authority said the merger of Halesowen and Cradley Heath would go ahead. Speaking on Monday, John Edwards, chair of West Midlands Fire and Rescue Authority, said: "The decision to create an alternative single station for the Halesowen and Cradley Heath area was taken in 2009.

"The merger of the current two stations into one single facility will go ahead."

He said the authority had lost £10m of its budget since 2009 because of government cuts and expected to lose a further £20m over the next three years.

"Staying as we are is not an option as we prepare for the biggest financial reductions we have ever faced," added Mr Edwards.

Mr Dennis said 500 people had signed a petition against the closure of the stations. A final decision on creating a single station in the area served by the two current stations will be made on 28 November.

(acknowledgemnts to  and Ged Hickman)

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Save UEA Music Deptartment

Taken from UEA UCU - please try and get there/sign the petition etc.

last week, the Vice Chancellor at UEA made an announcement about plans to close the School of Music. The reasons that were cited were mainly financial, although, very disturbingly, the department's predicted REF rating was mentioned as a factor (raising worrying questions about the ways that the REF can be used to discipline employees). The news also came as a shock, as staff and students weren't aware that a review was underway. Ironically, "creativity" is a supposed to be one of UEA's virtues (!

Since then, a vibrant campaign to save the School of Music has now developed. The campaign now has the endorsement of Jools Holland, Brian Eno, Lauren Laverne and the Musicians' Union - and it would be brilliant if you could support it too. You can join the Facebook group (, follow the campaign on Twitter ( and sign the petition at You can see the union's statement on the closure at:

For those of you in the Norwich area, a rally is planned on Wednesday, 9 November at 12:30PM on the main UEA campus square, followed by a march around campus at 1:30PM, ending at the Registry building where the Senate will meet to discuss the fate of the School of Music.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Trade Union Pledge in support of the St Paul’s Occupiers

Launched by the initial signatories given below at a general assembly of the St Paul’s Occupation on the evening of the 27th October 2011. 


‘As trade unionists we express our support and admiration for the activists taking part in the occupation at St Paul's. We believe that they deserve the support of all those who think that we need a fairer and more just society. 

‘The occupiers represent the rage against the bankers and a government that puts the interests of the rich before the interests of ordinary people. 

‘We welcome the occupation’s statement giving support to the public sector pensions strike on 30th November. The support that the occupiers have given to the demonstrations by electricians facing huge attacks to their pay and conditions has also been magnificant. 

‘We support Reverend Giles Fraser, a man of principle, forced to resign due to his opposition to the possible threats of violence against the occupiers. His resignation must not be taken as a green light for the police to step in to clear the occupation. 

‘We pledge to stand with the occupiers against any attempt to physically remove them. 

‘The right-wing media and politicians may seek to vilify the occupiers, but we stand firmly with them. We are heartened by the growth of a new, young and vibrant movement that, like us, seeks a better society - one that puts human need before bankers' greed'. 


Initial Signatures (all in a personal capacity): 

Mark Campbell, UCU National Executive Committee, and London Metropolitan University UCU 
Jess Edwards, Assistant Secretary, Lambeth NUT 
Ian Bradley, Unite London Rank & File Committee 
Andy Reid, PCS National Executive Committee 
Nick Grant, NUT National Executive Committee 
Richard McEwan, UCU National Executive Committee, and Tower Hamlets College UCU 
Simon Hester, Prospect, Vice-chair, HSE Branch 
Jeni Reid, PCS, Asst Branch Secretary, HSE National Branch 
Rachel Eborall, Unison East London Mental Health Branch 
Matt Saywell, GMB Holborn Branch Secretary, and GMB London Regional Council 
Keith Crane, PCS, DEFRA Group Executive 
Craig Farr, Lambeth NUT LGBT Officer 
Ursla Hawthorn, NUT Waltham Forest 
Luke Evans, Goldsmiths UCU Executive Committee 
Des Freedman, Goldsmiths UCU Executive Committee 
Ken Muller, Islington NUT Assistant Secretary 
Mandy Brown, UCU Branch Secretary, Lambeth College 
Peter Coville, Vice-chair, Reading College UCU 
Jake Douglas, Asst Branch Secretary, CONEL UCU 
Jim Wolfrys, UCU National Executive Committee, and Kings College UCU 
Kelvin Smith, Queen Mary University London UCU 
Charlie Kimber, NUJ 
Matthew Myatt, NUJ Hampshire Chapel 
Richard Willis, GMB Redbridge 
Maureen Taylor, GMB Redbridge 

Friday, 28 October 2011

Reinstate Abdul Omer Mohsin

Monday, November 7 · 9:00am - 10:00am

Radius House
51 Clarendon Road WD17 1HU
Watford, United Kingdom

Created By

More Info
Abdul Omer Mohsin, the Unite convenor at London Sovereign buses, was sacked in March 2010.

He played a leading role in organising workers at Sovereign, first as a rep, then as convenor. They are the lowest paid drivers in the capital.

Abdul became a leading figure in Unite’s London Bus Campaign. He led successful industrial action at Sovereign at the beginning of 2009.

His leadership attracted the attention of Sovereign management.

He was first suspended by the company over an incident at the Harrow garage. An anti-fascist poster put up by Abdul Omer advertising a demo backed by Unite was ripped down. He was then reinstated, with no charges brought against him.

His eventual sacking followed his defence of a worker at a disciplinary hearing.

Abdul has suffered severe health problems and financial difficulties since his dismissal.

Unite have backed the campaign for Abdul’s reinstatement. His sacking is seen by the union as a case of victimisation. Unite’s general secretary Len McCluskey has offered his “100 percent support”.

Drivers at Sovereign have refused to elect a new convenor to replace Abdul and are still calling for his reinstatement.

At the start of October they voted for a ballot on action to reinstate Abdul Omer, linked to their present pay campaign.


Abdul’s victimisation is an issue for every trade unionist. The Tories and the employers are using the economic crisis to attack trade unionists and trade union rights.

We have to defend union reps if we’re to stop the onslaught on our pay, conditions and jobs.

Abdul has an Employment Tribunal on 7-11 November. Unite are funding his legal representation.

Supporters have called for a protest on the first day of the hearing. Bring union and campaign banners, show your support – defend the right to organise!

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Feed the world –without destroying the planet




Rapidly rising food prices are one of the most immediate ways that the economic crisis hits the poorest people. It led to riots in many parts of the world in 2010 and was a significant factor in igniting the Arab Spring. Millions are dying of starvation in Africa and it’s easy to assume that this is because we aren’t
producing enough food to feed everyone. In fact food production has become increasingly globalised and distorted since the 1970s with the result that a handful of countries now dominate the trade in staple foods.

This leaves the most vulnerable countries at the mercy of those who dominate the trade. Global warming
compounds the problem through drought. The rich countries of the north have imposed so called “liberalisation” on poorer countries – often through institutions like the International Monetary Fund –
and subsidising agribusiness at the expense of the most vulnerable.

Agribusiness and GM crops have pushed up yields in a way that destroys the environment and denies food to hungry people. Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez hit the nail on the head when he said that the food crisis is “the greatest demonstration of the historical failure of the capitalist model.

Socialist Resistance and Green Left argue for an ecosocialist approach to the problem where the people who produce food have the right to determine their own agricultural policies, free from interference from the
multinationals or international institutions with their neo-liberal policies such as the IMF and the World Bank.
These issues are not discussed enough on the left and this seminar gives us a unique opportunity to do so.

A Red/Green Forum Meeting

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

TAX JUSTICE e-petition

Subject: [London] Sign the TAX JUSTICE e-petition started by Caroline Lucas MP - cascade to all Greens and all others

Sign the TAX JUSTICE e-petition started by Caroline Lucas MP : Just 100,000 signatures and there will be ructions in the House - that is, a guaranteed debate in the House of Commons.

Use all your groups / email lists to share the link :

Sign the petition here:

CoR had the story up and posted a few days back, and now has the direct petition link on the website :

Romayne Phoenix

OLSX event "Your workplace: cuts, grievances and organising resistance"

From: Pete Firmin
Occupy London Stock Exchange (outside St Pauls Cathedral) are hosting an event on Thursday (27 Oct) evening entitled
"Your workplace: cuts, grievances and organising resistance"
The occupiers would like to invite as many trade unionists and workers to come along.

We would also like to get people from different trade unions speaking, in particular about Nov 30th strikes and the preparations for it.

It will go on from 5 until 6.30pm in front of the steps of St Pauls.
After which they would like to take anyone who would like on a tour of the camp.

Please come down and support the event, bring people from your workplace and union and if possible collections.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

London Fire Brigade services should be under public ownership - Darren Johnson

Acknowledgements to Martin Francis' blog Wembley Matters

London Fire Brigade services should be under public ownership - Darren Johnson

Responding to the FBU, UNISON, GMB joint report ‘Privatisation of London’s fire service training and control centre report published on October 24th, London Assembly Member Darren Johnson said:

“I don’t believe that Londoners agree with privatisation of the fire service, and the uncertainties that come with it. I don't want to see pivotal London Fire Brigade services privatised as we have seen far too many privatisations that have been costly and ineffective. That is why I welcome these proposals by the unions for the Fire Brigade to work with staff and unions in designing improved in-house provision for training and fire control."

On the privatisation of fire engines, Darren said:

“The financial fiasco of the privatisation of London Fire Brigade fire engines has raised fundamental questions about the financial viability and safety of handing key frontline emergency services assets such as Fire engines over to the private sector. I have urged the Mayor of London to bring it back under public ownership”
Posted by Martin Francis at 11:02 AM
Labels: asylum seekers. Darren Johnson. Green Party., London Fire Brigade

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Donate to support Mick Dooley

Derek Wall writes
I have sent some money, would encourage others to do we need to be in the thick of these battles, supporting working class socialist candidates for union posts
I know times are very difficult and things are tight, but please take a look at this finacial appeal and consider making a donation. Also, please forward on to those who you consider would have an interest and that may be sympathetic to the request.
UCATT election for General Secretary: Financial appeal: Friends of Mick Dooley

You may be aware of the election for the General Secretary of UCATT. Nominations have finished and theballoting of members begins on 11th November.
The election has been forced upon UCATT following Michael Dooley’s successful challenge in proving illegal malpractice surrounding the previous election in 2009. The union appealed the decision and lost.
Disgracefully, in the mean time UCATT has sacked Michael Dooley. As I write this note we await Mick’s tribunal result against the unfair dismissal.
Michael Dooley is contesting the election and without any doubts stands a great chance of winning, the other main candidates can be best summed up as ‘establishment hacks’.
He is the only candidate who pledges to take an average wage if he is elected to GS.
He is the only candidate that not only believes in direct action but actually takes part in direct action.
He is the only candidate believes that the grass roots, rank and file member are the most important element of any trade union organisation.
He is the only candidate would make employers sit up and take notice.
Now tell me we would not all be better off if Michael Dooley won the election and became General Secretary of UCATT and that is why we should help.
However all of this has taken its toll financially and a call is now being made to supporters who want to see UCATT as a fighting union.

Please make a donation for the fighting fund and to do anything you can to support Mick Dooley in this vital election.

Donations to: ‘Friends of Mick Dooley’
Lloyds bank: Sort code 30 97 84
Account number: 41395168
Or send cheques made payable to ‘Friends of Mick Dooley’
To: 27 Surbiton Road, Southend on Sea, Essex; SS2 4NR
One of Mick Dooley favourite quotes is from Frederick Douglass…………..
"Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will."

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Rehad Desai Speaking Tour

Below are details of the Campaign Against Climate Change speaking tour taking place over the start of November, there are a number of dates across the country and it would be good to see Green Party trde unionists getting involved.

The Campaign Against Climate Change is bringing over climate activist and film maker, Rehad Desai from South Africa.

This years UN Climate Conference takes place in Durban, and Rehad is part of organising the mobilisations of people from across the country to demand "Climate Justice".

On the same day that they protest, the CaCC demonstration will take place in London.

Rehad is speaking in several different cities across the UK, alongside other climate activists, trade unionists and campaigners. We hope that you will be able to join us.

Please note that while these are firm dates, some information, such as additional speakers may be subject to change.

Rehad is also hoping to raise money while in the UK, to help fund the mobilisations in South Africa. If you would like to make a donation towards the cost of the tour, or towards the cost of the mobilisations in South Africa, please contact CaCC via the website below.

London - Saturday 12 November
London Climate Justice Conference – organised by the Campaign Against Climate Change - Murad Qureshi, GLA member, Labour, Bangadeshi Community, Dr Daanish Mustafa Lecturer on Geography at Kings College, Herbert Mwalukomo ex of Concern Universal and the Wildlife and Environment Society of Malawi, Ichin Cheng, Research Director Sustainable Innovation Lab, Polly Higgins to speak on “Ecocide”and speakers from Biofuelwatch, Action Aid, Platform, CCC Trade union group.

Manchester - Monday 14 November, 6.30pm

Manchester University Students Union, additional speakers include Martin Empson, treasurer, CaCC Trade Union group & Bombardier rail worker

Sheffield - Tuesday 15 November, 6.30pm for refreshments, speakers from 7.15pm

Quaker Meeting House, 10 St. James Street, S1 2EW. Additional speakers include Suzanne Jeffrey, chair CaCC Trade Union group. Meeting organised by Sheffield Campaign Against Climate Change.

London - Wednesday 16 November, 7pm

PCS Union headquarters, 160 Falcon Road, London, SW11 2LN. Additional speakers include Chris Baugh, assistant General Secretary of PCS. Meeting sponsored by UCU, PCS, GMB at PCS, Battersea & Wandsworth Trades Council & the Greener Jobs Alliance.

Cardiff - Thursday 17 November, 7pm

Transport House, 1, Cathedral Rd, Cardiff, CF11 9SD.
Additional speakers include Phil Thornhill, CaCC national co-ordinator & Marianne Owens (PCS). Meeting sponsored by PCS Wales. / 07940108146

Exeter - Friday 18 November, 2pm

Exeter University, meeting organised by Exeter University and College Union (UCU)

London - Saturday 19 November

Unite the Resistance conference, 11am – 5pm, Royal Horticultural Halls & Conference Centre, Westminster, London, SW1P 2PE.

For more information, please contact:
Campaign Against Climate Change Trade Union group

Monday, 17 October 2011

Prince William’s homeless charity Centrepoint faces strike action

Prince William’s homeless charity Centrepoint faces strike action

30 September 2011
The homeless charity Centrepoint was urged to enter into last-minute talks with Unite, after the majority of its members voted overwhelmingly to strike in a dispute over staff losing thousands of pounds a year in pay.
Unite, the largest union in the country, has asked the conciliation service Acas to intervene as managers seem intent on imposing pay cuts which could see some of the more than 100 staff losing thousands of pounds, while top executives will have their pay ring-fenced from cuts.
Unite’s members voted by 70 per cent to 30 per cent for strike action at the charity, which looks after homeless young people, and its members will meet on Monday (3 October) to decide strike dates.
The charity’s patron is Prince William and Centrepoint hit the headlines when its chief executive Seyi Obakin left the pay negotiations to join the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on their visit to America. Unite described Mr Obakin’s trip as ‘an unnecessary sycophantic jaunt’.
Unite regional officer Matt Smith said: ”There is a clear mandate supporting the view that our members are not prepared to accept that the lowest paid frontline staff should take savage pay cuts, while the senior management keep their pay at the same level.
”Unite calls on the senior management to get back round the table to resolve this potentially damaging dispute at one of Prince William’s favourite charities.
”We hope the board will intervene and bring this iconic charity back from the brink of disaster. We need to prevent this charity from carrying out the cruellest of ironies - cutting our members’ pay by so much it could potentially force them to join the very  homeless that they do so much to help.
”We have a members’ meeting on Monday to decide on strike dates. Unite has contacted Acas in an attempt to resolve this, but the management is being completely unreasonable and putting the future of the charity at major risk.
”At the last meeting we had at Centrepoint the senior management was confident our members would not vote for strike action and they would bat off any negative publicity. This is a dangerous under estimation of our members’ feelings. The senior management's naive industrial relations attitude is a real concern for Unite.“
Unite said that more than 100 staff at Centrepoint have been singled out to face severe wage cuts, demotion and redundancy.
Notes to news editors:
For further information please contact Matt Smith 07918 640 587 and/or Unite communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940
In the ballot, 69.4 per cent voted for strike action and 30.6 per cent voted against. The number of ballot papers returned was 36, with 25 in favour of strike action and 11 against.
Unite research into Centrepoint’s 2010 public accounts has revealed that the organisation pays six of its senior executives over £60,000-a-year, with one being paid £110,000.

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Sunday, 16 October 2011

Feed the world without destroying the planet

A seminar on food sovereignty
November 12, 11-5.30
Registration 10.30.
University of London Union,
Malet Street, London WC1
Organised by Socialist Resistance and Green Left
Agenda11- 1.30 Introductory plenary
1.30-2.30 Lunch
2.30-4.00 Workshops
Women and Food Sovereignty
Agribusiness and the supermarkets
Land rights not Land grabs
Food Sovereignty and Climate change
4.15-5.30 Closing Plenary
with Maria Neri Pampilo
Maria has worked for CONZARRD since the mid 1990’s.
CONZARRD is a grouping of popular and non-governmental organisations working on agrarian reform and rural development in Mindanao, in the Philippines. For CONZARRD organic farming is not a luxury – but essential to the survival of the famers.Organic rice for example is more resilient against both disease and flooding as well as cheaper. Organic fertiliser, produced locally enriches the soil rather than depleting it in the way chemical fertiliser does.

Other principal speakers include: Graciela Romero War on Want International Programme Director and author of their report on Food Sovereignty
Rehad Desai: South African climate change activist and documentary film maker, visiting Britain to build support for the climate justice protests in Durban to coincide with the COP 17 summit in December
Derek Wall, Green Left – former principal speaker of the Green Party, author of the No Nonsense Guide to Green politics 
Pierre Rousset : Noveau Parti Anticapalist (NPA), France, and Europe-Asia social forums – Editor of, has written extensively on Asia particularly the Philippines, Vietnam and Japan
Terry Conway: Socialist Resistance Editorial Board
Food sovereignty not `food security’ is answer  to world hunger
One and a half billion people are at risk from rising food prices. This is the dramatic conclusion of the report by UN food agencies; The state of food insecurity in the World today.  The report talks of a triple crisis of food, climate change and depleted natural resources, which could affect 1.5 billion people across 10 countries. It says: “having 600 million people suffering from hunger on a daily basis is never acceptable”
But the way the UN agencies focus on the concept of “food security is fundamentally flawed. They promote private investment and increased agricultural productivity – both of which are part of the problem. They have contributed to the development of widespread hunger, rising food prices and small producers being forced off the land by increasing power of agribusiness and the supermarkets.
Socialist Resistance and Green Left say that the answer is food sovereignty; that is the right of the people who produce food to determine their own agricultural policies, free from interference from either multinationals or from international institutions such as the World Bank and the IMF. The promotion of neo-liberal deregulation by these institutions has been one of the key factors leading to today’s food crisis.
We say no to the power of the supermarkets. Food producers are at the mercy of the supermarkets who dictate what is grown and what price they will pay. Tesco makes two thirds of its sales and profits in Britain. In the second quarter of this financial year like for like sales in British stores fell by 0.7% while profits increased by 12% in the first half of the year! 
These are not issues that the left in Britain often addresses – we hope you will join us to hear Maria and other speakers discuss why they are vital to us all

I want to register for the Feed the world without destroying the planet seminar
Phone ---------------------------------------------------
Send  £7 or £4 unwaged to PO Box 62732, London SW2 9CQ or by to pay