UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

The right to strike in Britain is now under serious threat‏

“The right to strike in Britain is now under serious threat,” says Seumas Milne in a Guardian article reviewing the implications of the spate of injunctions granted to employers by the High Court over the past 6 months.

Dust and ashes by Adrian Mitchell‏

The Cedars of Lebanon have been stripped of their bark,
cut down to the sap, hacked down to the roots.
Now they are ashes floating over blackened villages.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Right wing opinion formers mount offensive against public services‏

Unsurprisingly the CBI and the dodgy right wing ideologues at the Tax Dodgers Alliance are suggesting that leading General Secretaries, such as Dave Prentis, are wrong to suggest that their members should be protected from cuts to pay for a crisis that was not of their making.

The deranged anti-union misrepresentations of the Israel lobby‏

A constant attention seeking tactic of the pro-Israel lobby is to misrepresent supporters of justice for Palestinian people as ‘anti-semitic’ or ‘pro-terrorist’ etc. However the latest propaganda offensive from an unrepresentative and marginal right wing lobbying organisation called TULIP takes the biscuit.

Unions should fear the coalition Government - FT‏

"The coalition must prepare itself for the battle ahead. Organised labour has seen off British governments before. If this administration is to prevail, it must have a clear strategy to tackle the pay rigidities of state employees that damage both the public and private sectors” concludes today's FT editorial which sets out and commends the Tory/Liberal prospectus for attacking national pay bargaining, decent pensions and in house employment in the public sector. http://m.ft.com/cms/s/0/cc30a462-6443-11df-8618-00144feab49a.html

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Spain feels the pain – we are next‏

As we have commented before, the debt transfer from Banks to States to Workers was part of the so called rescue package for global banking. The banks collapsed, the state borrowed money from our pension funds to save them now states are clawing it back from workers, their children and pensioners. Ironically of course to pay our pension funds back as they buy the government bonds!

Strike ban overturned - solidarity with BA workers‏

The draconian and perverse High Court injunction which stopped strike action by Unite members on Monday has been overturned by Senior Judges.
This shows the importance of unions resisting abuse and misuse of trade union laws by employers and High Court judges – at UK and European level. The strikes will go ahead next Monday and maximum support from the rest of the trade union movement is essential.
Further information at:

We cannot afford to be divided - Dave Prentis‏

UNISON General Secretary Dave Prentis has sent the below letter to UNISON branches and members:
Dear colleague
Ballot papers for the General Secretary election are now arriving at members’ homes and I wanted to take this opportunity to write to you about the importance of this election.

Financial reforms doomed to fail‏

Financial reforms doomed to fail...governments attempting to re-regulate the finance sector will find it impossible to do so...the debate over Obama's proposals suggests current efforts to reform financial regulation are “cosmetic” and won’t prevent another crisis, economist Nouriel Roubini told an audience on Tuesday at the London School of Economics. “The way I think about this crisis is not in terms of black swans (a sudden, rare event), but white swan events," Roubini said. "Crises are much more common than we think.”

Impact conference debates Irish pay accord‏

The leading Irish public service union is holding its biennial conference this week in Kilkenn and is debating the proposed agreement between the Irish government and public sector unions on pay and reform of public services.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Nothing new in Clegg's veiled attack on the welfare state and trade union link‏

Nick Clegg today in a ‘New Politics’ speech spoke like the true tin pot revolutionary that he is. Talking up the Con Dems plans for the New Reform Act, his rhetoric spouts about ‘the many not the few’, but his reforms fall far short of actually tackling real vested interests, like bankers, the markets, and the class system. They consist instead of constitutional tinkering and a fundamental erosion of the universal collective provision of rights and public services. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8690882.stm

Public services industry‏ sees profits in coalition

The public services industry is beside itself at the prospect of getting outsourced contracts fom the ConDem coalition according to the Times and the Telegraph: "... senior civil servants I have talked to believe there will be real commitment to long-term cost savings and that an ambitious outsourcing programme will play a key part in that", says David Wighton in the Times online. http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/columnists/article7123454.ece

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Cuts show this coalition is far from progressive - Prentis‏

'There has been a lot of spin about our new government being the "new politics" and a "progressive coalition", but you don't even have to scratch the surface to work out, it's all a sham. There is nothing new or progressive about the £6bn worth of spending cuts, at the very least, that are heading our way.

UNISON members - Unite to defend our jobs and services - Vote Dave Prentis‏

After a nomination period stretching back to early February, the UNISON General Secretary ballot is underway. Dave Prentis is the overwhelming choice of all parts of the union. His candidacy has united all service groups, regions and hundreds of branches across every part of the UK.http://www.electdaveprentis.com/why_we_back_dave

BA High Court injunction is a grotesque abuse of the employment law‏

For the second time in 6 months the British judiciary has granted BA an injunction to thwart democratically supported industrial action on spurious grounds. The Pavlovian judge Justice McCombe using a bogus balance of (employers) convenience argument to uphold claims that all individual union members had not received full ballot results.  http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/mobile/business/10119196.stm

Time to build broad coalition against Trident‏

Mike Kirby UNISON Scotland convener addressed a Scottish CND rally at the weekend called to mobilise against Trident replacement.  http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/index.php/news/content/view/full/90408
Calling for opposition to Trident to be based on economic need as well as military and moral arguments, Mike drew attention to councils and other public bodies cutting services as the price being paid for bank bail outs.

Monday, 17 May 2010

ETUC expresses solidarity with LGBT workers on International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia‏

On International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia 2010, the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) whishes to express its solidarity with all workers facing discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity in Europe and beyond.

Labour leadership election - a perspective‏

It was hardly surprising to find that a speech made by Ivan Lewis on Saturday at a Labour north west ‘feedback meeting’ arranged by north west NEC member Pete Wheeler contained some very similar messages to David Miliband writing in Sunday’s Observer. Coincidence? I think not.

Sunday, 16 May 2010


The Morning Star has published an excellent review of an exhibition ‘Antifascistas’, largely drawn from the International Brigade Memorial Trust archive at the Marx Memorial Library, tells in words and pictures the inspirational story of the 2,500 British and Irish volunteers who joined the fight to defend democracy in Spain against internal and international fascism from 1936 to 1939.

Bankers back to bonus bonanza‏

Bankers are back feasting on bonuses and at levels not seen since their crash in 2007/8
http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/may/13/bankers-pay-bonuses-surge The Guardian analysis of data from the Office for National Statistics shows that bankers were paid £8.5bn in bonuses in the four months to April, compared with £7bn during the same period last year.

Immigration RSVP by Lemn Sissay‏

The lemons you suck are from Spain
And the orange you drink's from South Africa.
Shoes you wear are made in Pakistan
And your oil is from Saudi Arabia.