Monday, February 27, 2012

People, Charters and Voices

Tonight's Annual Meeting of Lambeth Trades Council heard a speaker on the Peoples' Charter, which is now supported, in line with TUC policy, by an impressive array of trade unions (http://www.thepeoplescharter.org/index.php/supporters-unions). The constructive joint working now taking place between the Charter and the Coalition of Resistance mirrors at a national level the mutual support shown locally between the Trades Council and Lambeth Save Our Services.

One name sadly still absent from the list of unions supporting the Charter is that of UNISON. Our "Million Voices" campaign (now supported by more than 50,000 people - http://www.unison.org.uk/million/) need not be counterposed to the Charter, which has a useful role in bringing together the alternative to the policies of the Coalition Government.

The Charter provides an answer (in the same way UNISON's Alternative Budget does) to the question "what's your alternative then?" which is inevitably posed when we tell politicians to stop making cuts. Because the Charter is not simply the property of any one Union, it is a more viable tool for joint union campaigning than "Million Voices" - and it is clear that joint union campaigning is what is required.
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