Wednesday, 31 August 2011

PO Box 4123 Rugby CVc21 9BJ
Convenor and Press Officer: Pete McLaren 07881 520626
Treasurer: Julie Weekes               Trade Union Liaison: Roy Sandison; Martin Eversfield

Dear  Colleague

The Rugby Against the Cuts campaign are supporting the forthcoming lobby of the TUC on the 11th September by the National Shop Stewards Network to call for a 24hr Public Sector General Strike to defend jobs and our services.

Details for the coach from Coventry going to the NSSN organised lobby of the TUC have now been confirmed. Bob Crow (RMT) and Mark Serwotka (PCS) will be among the speakers at the rally before our march to the TUC to demand action.

It will leave at 10.30am on Sunday 11th September, Fairfax St. (Get there 10.15)
Tickets will be very cheap £5 waged, £2 concessions. Tel: 07938 948629 to book a place

This will be a very important gathering for the trade union movement, make sure you are there so the TUC is left in no uncertain terms that the rank and file of the unions are demanding they co-ordinate action.  A good rally will also give support to the likes of Crow and Serwotka who will no doubt continue to argue for co-ordinated action within the TUC.

Further leaflets and a petition to be used in your workplace or community can be found here 

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Save Bombardier Rally Derby 1st September

The Government has said, as a result of the Bombardier cock-up, that it will be reviewing the procurement process for train manufacturing. This is not good enough.
There is an important Forte College, in Derby. See the attached leaflet.
Speakers include: Chris Williamson Save Bombardier Rally taking place at 7.30 pm this coming Thursday 1 September at Landau MP;Margaret Beckett MP; George Cowcher, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce; Richard Morgan, GMB; John Stewart, climate campaigner; Gerry Doherty, General Secretary TSSA; Michelle Craven, Derby and Derbyshire Rail Forum; Alex Gordon, President RMT.
The meeting has been called by: Derby Climate Coalition and Together for Transport and is supported by Unite the Union, RMT, GMB, TSSA and the Climate Alliance. If possible send messages of support. For more information email: or call 07894 586904
John Stewart from the Climate Allaince will be  speaking  on climate and transport. John was centrally involved in the stop the third Heathrow runway campaign.
It is intended that a Bombardier community support group will be set up from this meeting. Together for Transport, the Right to Work Campaign and the Climate Alliance are planning to set up meetings along the lines of   "Save Bombardier/Invest in railways and Climate Jobs" throughout the country. Of course other organisations are invited to collaborate.

Could you please go onto the 38 degrees site, where suggestions can be put up, and voted on. The proposal is called Bombardier and the future of the British train building and the link is here:
It is essential for the future of train manufacturing in the UK and the thousands of jobs and businesses to let the Transport Select Committee know your feelings about the huge potential damage of allowing £1.4bn of Thameslink trains to be manufactured outside the UK. Also attached is a document detailing how to contact the Transport Select Committee  with your views.
On the 7th of September 200 people are going down from Derby to lobby the Transport Select committee in London. It would be great if you could bring banners and join us.
It seems that the Conservatives are bitterly divided on this one and it would be good if you can put pressure on Conservative Members of Parliament, in particular those who are members of the Transport Committee.

Reg Hand
Secretary Derby Climate Coalition
Tel: 01332 676046

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Unison will challenge its Plymouth derecognition

by Tom Walker

The Tories want to break the Unison union at Plymouth council—but workers say they won’t let them get away with it.

Bosses derecognised Unison last week after the union refused to sign up to job and pay cuts.

Unison branch secretary Darren Turner said, “Unison’s position is, and always will be, to defend and improve the pay and conditions of our members.

“They do not join because they want us to sign away hard-earned benefits at the first sign of pressure from the employer.”

The bosses want to force out the union so that they can push through new contracts.

The Unite and GMB unions at the council have made a formal protest over the derecognition.
“Selective derecognition threatens the future of collective bargaining across the country,” Unison branch chair Jeremy Guise told Socialist Worker.

“If the employers are allowed to get away with this kind of divide-and-rule there will be a significant weakening of trade union power and influence in all multi-union workplaces.
“That’s why we have to come together to fight it.”

Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said the union “will not be pressured into signing an agreement that discriminates against some groups of staff”.

The council withdrew all facility time for Unison branch officials and kicked them out of their union offices.
But the union’s members are keeping up the fight.

On Wednesday Unison members will hold a union general meeting to consider a ballot for industrial action.
This must be turned into a reality. Activists must go all-out to win support for action across all three council unions.

Workers were set to join a solidarity rally outside the council’s offices on the same day, called by Plymouth trades council.

There was also to be a public solidarity meeting that evening.
Tony Staunton, secretary of the trades council and chair of the council Unite branch, said the derecognition fight is “of national significance”.

“We’re calling for full support for the Unison branch,” he added.

The branch has been flooded with messages of support from other unions.

PCS civil service workers’ union general secretary Mark Serwotka said, “PCS and, I’m sure, the whole labour movement is 100 percent behind Unison members in Plymouth as they fight to win back their union rights.”

Article from Socialist Worker 27th August 2011

Tony Dyer: Confessions of a failed Bristol rioter


Aug 15, 2011 from bristol24/7

I grew up on the Hartcliffe council estate which is where I was on April 2, 1980 when news came through of rioting in St Paul’s. Unlike my parents, who were shocked, their 15-year-old son’s reaction was somewhat different. My sympathies were with the youths throwing bricks at the police.

My friends felt the same way. Our view of the police was a negative one. In our experience, their main objective appeared to be simply to harass us on the apparent assumption that because we were young and from relatively under-privileged backgrounds we must be up to no good.

We felt that the police simply didn’t like us – and we felt the same way about them.

In addition those of my friends who had left school were either signing on or worked for companies that were cutting their workforce. The Thatcher government had been elected the previous year, helped by an advertising campaign that showed a line of unemployed signing on and the slogan “Labour isn’t working” – but under the Tories the dole queue was getting even longer.

Our futures looked bleak – even our parents with their years of experience were losing their jobs, and struggling to find new ones. We had no experience and few, if any, qualifications. Who’d employ us?
We felt that the rest of the country didn’t care about us – so why should we care about the rest of the country?

So when it was suggested that we pile down to St Paul’s and join in the rioting nobody objected. As a result, we made our way to the city centre. For most of us, including myself, this simply turned into a game of cat and mouse as we tried to join in the rioting – only to be blocked off by the police at every turn.
In my own case I returned to a grilling from my parents about where I had been that evening and a warning that if I ever got involved in the sort of events that were now being shown on the TV, I would get the hiding of my life.

Fast forward a decade. It’s July 1992, and another riot erupts in Bristol. This time however it is not in St Paul’s but Hartcliffe.

In the intervening years, my circumstances have changed completely. The 1980 riot in St Paul’s had been followed by a copycat riot in Southmead and a series of riots the following year across the whole country, as the UK entered into full-blown recession.

In the immediate aftermath, some additional funding had been made available for deprived areas and my father, increasingly worried about the direction his son was taking, got me on to a computer training programme.

By 1992, I was married and living in Portishead and had recently been recruited by one of the largest computer companies in the world. Despite the country once again being in recession, my own economic and personal situation was an almost complete contrast to 1980.

The dichotomy is that if I had been arrested for rioting in 1980, it is unlikely that my future would have been so successful, but if those same riots had not taken place it is just as unlikely that the training programme that kick-started my change in fortune would have been available to me.

Meanwhile back in Hartcliffe, that same programme that had helped me start a successful career had been the victim of cuts. In addition it was clear from talking to my young cousins that their relationship with the police was as bad as ours had been in 1980, and that, if anything, job opportunities were even worse as another recession began to bite with youth unemployment already high. In hindsight, the ingredients for a riot were all there, all that was needed was a spark.

My own involvement was brief. I received a phone call from my mum asking me if I would drive over to Hartcliffe and pick up my cousin and her two young children from their flat above the shops in Symes Avenue. A crowd of youths had set fire to some of the shops below and she was in a state of panic. Thankfully, by the time I got to Hartcliffe, my brother had already picked her up and taken her to my parents.

I was angry. A close relative of mine and her two young children had been scared out of their wits and their lives put in danger by a bunch of “mindless thugs” who had decided to set fire to property and throw bricks at the police.

I then realised what a hypocrite I was.

Because if the same riot had broken out in Hartcliffe in 1980, my 15-year-old version would have been among those throwing bricks. I might tell myself that I would not have set fire to property but I had also seen plenty of evidence close up of how recklessly individuals can behave within a mob situation with no thought of the possible consequences.

Once again, when the riots were over, and the usual sound-bite of politicians had had their say, public funding was made available for the sort of programmes and initiatives that had changed my own life.

By 2011, yet again many of those programmes had been cut largely due to a financial crisis not of the making of those most affected by the cuts. Instead, those responsible either fiddled their expenses, or pocketed their bonuses, as they told us we were all in this together. Once again jobs are in short supply, and this time it is my nephews and nieces who see little future for themselves.

So when I watched the news coverage of the riots in recent weeks, I found myself experiencing contrasting feelings; anger at the destruction of people’s livelihoods, and disgust at the loss of life.

But underlying it all there was intense anger that we, as a society, appear to have learned almost nothing over the last 30 years and continue to make the same mistakes – and that as a result it is only a matter of time until the next outbreak of violence.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Diggers' Festival

Wigan's first "Diggers' Festival" will take place at The Old Pear Tree, Frog Lane on Saturday 10th September 2011.

The festival aims to celebrate the life, ideas and actions of the Wigan born and bred Diggers' leader Gerrard Winstanley who died on 10th September 1676.

Issued by Stephen Hall on behalf of the Festival Organising Committee
01942 886645/07724 139278
39 Spa Road, Atherton, Manchester M46 9NR.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Employment law Update 2011

A must go-to event for anyone with an interest in employment law”

Updates on Victimisation, Blacklisting, Equality, and ‘a sackers charter’?

Expert speakers
§    Institute President, Professor Keith Ewing
§    Sarah Veale, TUC
§    Howard Beckett, Legal Director, Unite the Union
§    Stuart Brittenden Old Square Chambers
§    Keith Patten, Thompsons Solicitors
§    Steve Cottingham, O H Parsons
§    Alan Bogg, Hertford College
§    Kara Loraine Old Square Chambers

See website for more information

Complete and return a booking form
Use the website book and pay form
Or use the booking form attached

Please forward to your colleagues and networks and apologies for any cross posting


Employment Law Update

Wednesday 19th October 2011
NUT, Hamilton House, Mabeldon Place, off Euston Road, LONDON

No. Places

IER subscribers or members           £75
Trade unions      £90
Commercial     £220
We will invoice you, please indicate your price band

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Please give full names of all delegates

Include branch if relevant

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(if different to contact address)

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Special Requirements
The Institute strives to ensure all events are accessible and inclusive.  If you have any special requirements please let us know.

An invoice and confirmation details will be sent to you.

Delegates who advise IER of their cancellation more than 15 working days in advance will receive a credit note with 10% deduction for administration

Saturday, 6 August 2011

38 degrees, Bombardier and the railway manufacturing industry

From: Peter Robinson

Subject: {climate-change-trade-union-netwk} 38 degrees, Bombardier and the railway manufacturing industry


Date: Saturday, 6 August, 2011, 0:35

You may be well aware of the Bombardier issue and how this relates to the future of the British train building, and to combating climate change. Some people may think that this battle is over but this is far from the case. Indeed the anger and the revulsion is immense. It is rather like the campaign against the privatisation of the Forests, insofar as it is touching a cord with many people who are not of the left and not from the trade union movement. Paul Routledge wrote in the Daily Mirror:

"I’ve seen a few demos in my 40-odd years on national newspapers, but I’ve never before seen one that drew in the Tories, Labour, the unions and the management.

It’s a bit like Thatcher, the Coal Board, Neil Kinnock and Arthur Scargill leading a march to save the mines. If the ConDems think they have a coalition, they should try looking at this one in Derby."

The Climate Alliance, in partnership with the railway union TSSA, are now trying to persuade 38 degrees to take up the case. 38 degrees have a site where suggestions can be put up, and voted on. TSSA are also about to contact their contacts, hoping to show the strength of feeling.

Please go onto the site and use 3 of your votes and ask all the people you know to go onto the site and use their votes. The proposal is called

Bombardier and the future of the British train building and the link is here:

If you wish to see how the 38 Degrees consultation operation works go to

Please do your best to help make the issue go viral!

Peter Robinson

Secretary of the Climate Alliance.