Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Moving forward to N30

Regular readers of the blog, Sid and Doris Blogger, will appreciate the total coincidence which saw SERTUC issue confirmation of the strike day demonstration within an hour of the last post on this blog.

There will be a regional rally in London. This will be 2.15 to 3.15pm on Victoria Embankment and the road will be closed for the event. SERTUC and London unions will coordinate speakers – more information later. There is likely to be a march to join the rally at 2pm – provisional arrangements are assemble in Lincoln's Inn Fields from 12 noon, move off at 1pm to the Rally on the Victoria Embankment – details will be finalised shortly.

Branches staging local events will, I am sure, generally bring these forward to enable members to support events in the boroughs and go on to the London demonstration.

I very much take the point made to me privately by a well-informed correspondent that we cannot necessarily expect all the General Secretaries to be at the London rally. This will - ballots permitting - be a UK wide strike and it is certainly true that in the North, Wales and Scotland (and for that matter Northern Ireland) where trade union density is higher, there will be strong support and major - and important - rallies.

However, I hope that UNISON will field a significant speaker for the London rally which will inevitably draw an unfair share of media attention. UNISON turned out massive numbers on 26 March and a fair few of those were from London.

As we move towards the declaration of our ballot result in the next 48 hours we need to begin to prepare our members for the absolute necessity not only to take strike action on the day but to do the maximum possible in terms of activity - whether picketing, demonstrating or (best of all) both, guided always by an understanding that our objective is to exert political pressure through our lawful industrial action and associated activities.

Now is the time for the sort of leadership that tells people not what they may want to hear but what they are required to do.

Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

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