Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Prentis pledges to fight

Dave Prentis' speech to UNISON Health Conference is available online (http://www.unison.org.uk/asppresspack/pressrelease_view.asp?id=2248).



All UNISON members - not just health workers - should pay attention not just to Dave's denunciation of the Coalition's attack on the NHS but also when he says;



"we will build an alliance of all public service unions to break the pay freeze, protect our pensions, stop the cuts."



These are strong words well meant - and amount to a pledge which we must collectively redeem over the coming months.



Our job as activists in these circumstances is twofold. First we must build the organisation and - crucially - the confidence of our members to be prepared to take action. To do this we have not only to recruit more members and stewards but also develop and articulate a convincing strategy, locally and nationally, which can persuade our members of the necessity for, and efficacy of, the action we will ask them to take.



Secondly, we need to maintain the pressure on all our union leaders to ensure we can give form to the words spoken on Conference platforms. For now, building the strength and combativity of our union organisation is also the most important step we can take in this vital direction.



A couple of Lambeth branch members tell me they saw our General Secretary in Hyde Park last Saturday week and told him they wanted a strike.



"Build for it then," he said.



Very well. We shall.

Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

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