Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Unite's Regional Conferences this autumn

The link to the page that gives details of this autumn's Regional Conferences is below. Not all the informational is necessarily final, so you may need to check for updates.

http://www.unitetheunion.org/resources/union_elections_meetings_and/unite_regional_conferences_and.aspx

Also, the following clarification was issued today regarding the Area Activists Conferences, and who can stand for those particular committees:

"The last Rules Conference adopted an Executive Council statement on Rule Six, which read in part:  "…membership of Area Activist Committees should not be restricted in the way prescribed by Rule Six and should be open to all activists, including those who cannot be workplace representatives because of their circumstances."  Clearly, if that is the case regarding the AACs to be elected at the forthcoming meetings, it would also have to be the case at the meetings themselves.  Given that the term "activist" has no rulebook definition at all, this must mean any member in practice. 
  However, it should be noted that AACs are divided into constituencies, and only those members attending from a particular constituency should be allowed to vote for the AAC seats from that constituency.  In particular, retired members and community members attending should only vote for the two seats allocated to each of those groups of members on each AAC, in the event that the number of nominations requires an election.   It remains the case that any member delegated to attend the Regional Committee from any AAC must be a workplace representative in the terms of Rule Six. "  


Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Towards a hot autumn ...?

Just over 8 weeks til the national TUC demos (Glasgow and London) against this government's austerity measures and their catastrophic results. As the economy stagnates, we should bear in mind that this is after just 15% of the government's overall planned cuts have been implemented. That leaves another 85% to come. No wonder those economists who fervently supported Cameron and co. back in 2010 are now urgently calling for a Plan B, and stimulus for growth.

15% of cuts is bad enough, but actually the government would have liked to have imposed more by this stage. And the reason they haven't has been due to the huge unpopularity of the cuts, but, more importantly, the resistance to them. On the one hand, the riots that erupted around the country last summer were a sign of the despair and anger at the poverty, police racism and lack of future felt by so many in this country, especially young people who are being hammered and then scapegoated by this government. 

A more effective reflection of the anger was seen, however, when the organised trade union movement entered the scene. The mass demo on the 26th March last year was a real show of strength, and proved that the trade union movement in this country is far from dead. We then had a series of fantastic strikes over public sector pensions, reaching their height in November 2011. 

Some may think that fight has now waned. Whilst we have not seen strikes on the same scale as November 2011, we have nevertheless seen continued action, and further action is on the cards for this autumn. What is absolutely clear is that the crisis has not gone away, and the antagonisms this creates between those who created the crisis and get let off, and the rest of us who are being made to pay for it, are set to increase.

October 20th allows us a great opportunity to get more people out on the streets than last year. Whilst at its heart will be the trade union movement, we can pull in all kinds of anti-cuts campaigners, students and activists around us. The stronger the demo, the stronger our confidence will be, the stronger the chance of more action to fend off the austerity attacks, and the stronger the opportunity to finish off what is a nasty, but also now a weaker and more divided, government. 

We should look forward to things heating up again in the autumn!

Below is a video produced by the union to help build the 20th October. A lot of working people will relate to it. Why not send the link round to your workmates, family and friends and encourage them to come along? Unite is running transport from around the country.

Link to Unite transport for 20th October demo