Saturday, January 28, 2012

The challenge of solidarity

UNITE members employed as petrol tanker drivers by Wincanton are extending their strike action into a second week (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-humber-16760835).



This is a defensive struggle against a threat to conditions (http://union-news.co.uk/2012/01/wincanton-drivers-determined-spirits-fuel-jet-strike/) much as has been the fight by the electricians to defend their national agreement (http://m.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/oct/20/electricians-protest-action-employers?cat=commentisfree&type=article) and the fight by Unilever workers to defend their pensions (http://www.gmb.org.uk/newsroom/other_news/more_unilever_pension_strikes.aspx).



It's clear that in the private sector as much as in parts of the public sector some employers see the economic crisis as an opportunity to reduce the living standards of their workforce. Where there is union organisation there is the possibility to resist these attacks, and it is clear that pockets of resistance are emerging in the private as well as the public sector.



The first, faltering steps in the direction of rank and file communication between activists in different unions are only the beginning of a long journey, but if the destination is one in which we coordinate solidarity for each struggle as it emerges then swift progress would be in all our interests.

Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

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