Tuesday, July 08, 2014

#J10 Get ready for Thursday's Strike

The most important national strike since November 2011 is now less than two days away – and we need it to be an active strike, in which the maximum number of members do more than simply stay away from work (although that is – of course – vital!)

The UNISON website gives you five easy ways to get involved in supporting the action - and as this is a twenty-first century strike there’s loads to do on social media – including “ready made tweets” and details of how to make something called a “loom band”.

The most important tweets on 10 July will be the dawn chorus which many of us will be awake for as we prepare to picket workplaces. Waves of job losses and redundancies in local government since our last national strike action have taken out some of our experienced pickets and activists and – whilst we will welcome recently retired members supporting our picket lines as early as they can (hint, hint – you know who you are...) – we need to encourage and support first time pickets and first time picket organisers.

Following the morning shift of picket lines there will be events up and down the country to focus attention on our strike action – for those in central and inner London we will assemble from 11.30am outside BBC Broadcasting House Portland Place London W1A 1AA, marching off at noon to arrive in Trafalgar Square for a rally at 1pm.

In the event of further action (which will be essential if we are to secure the decent pay rise our members deserve) UNISON’s London Region needs to be a little more assertive about the timing of the central London event which it is the duty of the union in the capital city to arrange when we are involved in national action. A later start would enable branches further out in the city to participate without lifting picket lines too early.

We have no option but to withdraw our labour – and we need to picket to ensure that the impact of our action on services is maximised. However, our industrial action is part of a political fight over the future direction of our country and its economy, and it is the political impact of our action which we most need to maximise. Thursday is an opportunity for Labour politicians to show that they are on our side – as are some a long way from the left of the Party.

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