Sunday, July 13, 2008

Preparing for the strike

The most important thing for Unison activists in local government in England, Wales and Northern Ireland over the next two days is to persuade the maximum number of our members to strike on Wednesday and Thursday.

For all the different reasons that people give for not wanting to strike - the most important question is always whether trade unionists believe that the union can win a better deal through the sacrifice of strike action.

Therefore I am boring members of my branch by going on about the lesson from 1989 and 2002 - which is that national local government strike action can work.

There are however some important practical steps which can be taken.
I am pleased that my local branch has worked with our employer to secure their confirmation to staff that they do not ask staff to cross our picket lines - and to managers that they are not expected to encourage strike breaking.

This helps to isolate any rogue reactionary managers and to give confidence to new staff in particular to do the right thing.

I am also pleased that colleagues in the other local unions have agreed a joint appeal to all trade unionists not to cross picket lines. This helps those fellow trade unionists who want to support us.

There remains the question of hardship - and I am glad that Unison has issued some guidance (albeit it could be better worded) - I am also impressed to hear that some branches have already agreed with their employers to defer making deductions until the dispute is settled, a good idea which should be taken up more widely.

Circulating detailed information about deductions which will be made - also about the impact on pensions - and about the benefit of various possible settlements of the dispute is certainly worthwhile.

Good luck everybody.

1 comment:

ed whitby said...

just to clarify in northeast we had 2 labour (gateshead and south tyneside) and one lib dem (newcastle)
so for folks with libdem or lab councils it may be worth quoting these examples