This is the text of a message I have sent to UNISON branches in Greater London for whom I have email addresses this evening. If you are a UNISON member in Greater London please do all you can to ensure that your branch responds to the call from our General Secretary for solidarity and support.
All UNISON branches will be receiving an appeal from our General Secretary to support members in Leeds local government branch whose strike action against the threat of massive pay cuts has now entered its eighth week (as reported on our website). If you have not yet received the letter a copy can be downloaded at http://www.unison.org.uk/Acrobat/C5723.pdf.
Through a fellow member of our National Executive Council I have been put in touch with a striker from the Leeds branch who will be available to address meetings in London on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evening next week. I am therefore writing to ask if any branches who have meetings on those evenings at which they would welcome a speaker (or could – for example – solicit an invitation to a Trades Council meeting on one of those evenings) please to let me know by email so that I can arrange an itinerary of meetings for our guest from Leeds.
The most important thing that we can do is to raise money to sustain our members in taking a stand against a hostile and aggressive employer. Therefore invitations to meetings at which collections can be taken or donations agreed will be particularly welcome. Donations to the hardship fund can be marked for the attention of Loraine Senior and sent to UNISON, Yorkshire and Humberside Region, Commerce House, Wade Lane, Leeds LS2 8NJ. Cheques should be made payable to UNISON Yorkshire and Humberside Region.
I hope that branches will want to take up this opportunity to hear directly from one of our members taking official strike action in Leeds. Please contact me at this email address or at firstname.lastname@example.org if you can offer an invitation to a meeting on Monday 2, Tuesday 3 or Thursday 5 November.