Tuesday, January 07, 2014

I do not believe it!

Imagine, if you will, a large public service trade union in the second decade of the twenty-first century, it's members under attack from a Government utterly hostile to everything the union stands for.

Now imagine that members in one branch get to hear about the severe attacks being faced by members in another branch and seek to submit a motion to their Regional Service Group to send solidarity and support to the second branch.

Would you believe that in such circumstances the first branch might be told that the union's "democracy guidelines" precluded them making any proposals relating to the second branch?

(It might be an academic question if you also imagine that the Secretary of the first branch has training needs in relation to sending faxes via a Multi-Functional Device, but still, would you believe it?)

As I enter my second half-century I worry that I may experience more and more such "Victor Meldrew moments". Readers concerned for my mental well-being are invited to send brandy (or clear instructions on sending faxes via a Multi-Functional Device...)

On a serious note, the need for support and solidarity between and across UNISON branches is one of the reasons why I and other activists are starting a new discussion about how we can organise to support each other. An initial chat will take place on Thursday lunchtime in the Euston area, email if you would like to be kept in touch.

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