TUC passes policy: Climate crisis and a just transition

Congress notes the recommendation by the Committee on Climate Change that the UK move to a net zero target for emissions by 2050 and the UK parliament’s declaration of an environmental and climate emergency following a motion tabled by Jeremy Corbyn. The Earth’s temperature has already risen by one degree above pre-industrial levels. The autumn IPCC report warned that we only have 12 years to keep global warming to a maximum of 1.5 degrees. Net zero cannot be achieved without urgent investment in new, low-carbon energy generation Congress believes climate change is a trade union issue. The future of our planet is at risk if we don’t organise now to force governments to cut emissions in line with the IPCC report.

Congress welcomes Jeremy Corbyn’s acknowledgement that it cannot be
workers and communities that pay the price for changes to the energy system
and commitment that the next Labour government “will guarantee that all energy workers are offered retraining, a new job on equivalent terms and conditions, covered by collective agreements and fully supported in their housing and income needs through transition”. The challenges of just transition will have greatest impact in regions and localities without equivalent employment opportunities.

Congress commends trade unions for the work they have done in promoting and developing an understanding of what a ‘just transition’ means, including the views of workers in the industries affected.

A just transition means:
i. a balanced low-carbon energy mix
ii. investment in skills and infrastructure
iii. education and training must be reviewed to ensure young people and workers are equipped to live and work in a just transition towards a sustainable future iv. protecting and creating high-quality jobs and employment
v. no community left behind
vi. unions must be at the heart of a reinvigorated industrial strategy.

Congress welcomes the principles developed in the TUC’s statement on a just
transition published in July 2019, namely:
a. A clear and funded path to a low-carbon economy, taxing the very wealthy and closing tax loopholes in line with Labour Party manifesto commitments.
b. Workers must be at the heart of delivering these plans.
c. Every worker should have access to funding to improve their skills.
d. New jobs must be good jobs.

Congress calls on the General Council to put these at the forefront of addressing the climate crisis and moving to a greener, fairer economy.

We must keep the pressure up. Greta Thunberg and the school students have led the way but educators and the trade union movement as a whole must now act to ensure that they don’t fight alone.

Congress resolves:
1. that the TUC calls for a 30-minute workday campaign action to coincide with the global school strike on 20 September.
2. to campaign for national and regional Just Transition Commissions including
full union and education representation to develop, monitor and implement
the process.

TUC London, East and South East (LESE) Celebrates Amigo Month

Thursday 19 September 2019 
18:30 – 20:30 

TUC Congress House, 23-28 Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3LS 
Amigo Month is a five-week period that celebrates the shared cultures and experiences of the three million people who are resident in UK whose first language is Spanish or Portuguese.  

It starts each year on 7 September, which is significant as the ‘independence day’ of Brazil and Mozambique, where 90 per cent of the world’s 260 million Portuguese speakers live. And Amigo Month ends on 12 October, which is significant as the international Day of the 600 million Spanish speakers, and of the indigenous people of the Americas.  

Amigo Month promotes awareness, joint working, friendship and solidarity between communities. It promotes cultural, artistic, social, economic, tourism and educational links between communities and cultures too, on the basis of shared values. 

During these 35 days of Amigo Month many events are being organised and the importance of the event will be recognised by many key institutions, such as the Mayor of London, national Embassies and of course, the trade union movement. 

This event is hosted by the TUC region that is responsible for London, the East and the South East of England, where nearly two million trade union members live and work. 

The TUC believes that every worker in Britain should have a good job, high-quality rights at work, and fair pay. And we are confident that the best way for every worker to have a voice at work, to be respected, and to secure their full employment rights is for them to join a union and to organise to defend themselves and their workmates. 

If you are not a trade union member already there is a facility on the TUC website to help you identify which union might be the right one for you to join. 

https://www.tuc.org.uk/why-join-union 

Statement signed by Diane Abbott and others launches major campaign to defend EU migrants

Stand Up To Racism has launched a statement for a major campaign to defend EU migrants rights in the wake of a racist attack by Boris Johnson’s cabinet, signed by Diane Abbott, Alf Dubs, several trade union leaders, MPs, MEPs, local politicians, faith group leaders and anti racist activists
See the Guardian letter HERE
Sign the statement online HERE
Download the statement as a petition HERE
to use in workplaces, colleges and communities

This week we’ve witnessed a spectacular pace of events unfold, with Boris Johnson proroguing parliament, losing a vote against him over his plans for a Tory No Deal Brexit, and expelling 21 Tory MPs for defying the whip and voting with the opposition.

For all who are horrified to see this hard racist in Number 10—who is following in the footsteps of Trump and deliberately launching a vicious intensification of the ‘hostile environment’ and racism—it has been uplifting to see tens of thousands taking to the streets to get him out of office and to oppose the Tories. Stand Up To Racism has joined demonstrations, such as the People’s Assembly protests at parliament and around the country, outside Downing Street as Johnson made his announcement last Wednesday, and at the Home Office last night to challenge his shocking attack on over three million EU migrants living in Britain.

We say, whether you voted Leave or Remain, it is urgent that we unite to oppose all racist division, Islamophobia and Antisemitism, challenge the ‘hostile environment for migrants and refugees, and build a mass campaign to defend EU migrants whose rights are under attack by Johnson’s Tory cabinet. 

It is clear that Boris Johnson is using his office as prime minister to go on the offensive in intensifying the ‘hostile environment’ and is also pushing a level of racism from the heart of the establishment that aims to turn the clock back, normalising racist rhetoric.

That’s why Stand Up To Racism has launched this statement, signed by Diane Abbott, Alf Dubs, several union general secretaries, MPs and MEPs, faith groups and anti racist campaigners, to defend EU migrants’ rights. 

In every local area, in union branches, colleges and communities, Stand Up To Racism groups and activists should use the petition version of the statement, and the online version, to garner widespread support for its demands.

Stand Up To Racism is also calling a national day of action to defend EU migrants on Wednesday 2 October. We encourage local groups, affiliated unions and supporters to take round the statement in their workplaces, colleges and communities, take selfies showing support, and protests in town centres on the day as well as take part in social media promoting the day of action. We want everyone to use the statement and upload the signatures from their campaigning via the online petition too.

Stand Up To Racism is encouraging it’s local groups to call public meetings in localities over the campaign to defend EU migrants. See template for artwork for public meetings HERE

On 29 September (if the Tory party conference is still going ahead that is!), Stand Up To Racism is encouraging everyone to join the People’s Assembly demonstration in Manchester. We will be marching as a bloc to End the hostile environment and defend EU migrants.

The theme of defending EU migrants and more generally challenging the hostile environment will be the focus of the Stand Up To Racism and Love Music Hate Racism gig and fringe at this year’s TUC Congress. The event is on Sunday, 8 September, at The Arch in Brighton. See full details HERE

To discuss any issues around the campaign, or what you are planning locally or in your union branch or college, contact us as the office at info@standuptoracism.org.uk 

Climate strike 20 September – adults to join youth strikers across the world

Leaflet here.

Young people in the UK who have been striking for the climate are calling on adults to join them on Friday 20 September as part of a massive global day of action.

“This is not a single-generation job. It’s humanity’s job… Let’s all join together, with your neighbours, co-workers, friends, family and go out on to the streets to make your voices heard and make this a turning point in our history.” Greta Thunberg and 46 youth activists from the international school strike movement

What can I do?

Spread the word! This can be online – for example, share the Facebook event – but face to face conversations are best. Lots of energy and mobilising will take place in existing campaigns, communitiy groups etc. But this is a day where there will also be actions organised from workplaces, whether that’s a strike, a short walkout to join young people a stoppage or some other solidarity action. There’s a guide here for adults wanting to get involved.

You can talk to people in your workplace about why this is so important. Think about holding a meeting to discuss what action you can take. If you can, invite a school striker or climate activist. Be creative and imaginative. Tell your employer about the strength of feeling in support of backing the young people. 

Find out about what’s happening in your area.

There will also be planning events organised throughout the summer (see below, this page will be updated with details of new events as we find out about them). Thinking of organising one yourself? Remember to contact not just climate campaigners, but trade unions, activist groups concerned with other social justice issues, and of course, school strikers in your area. There will be lots of ways people can get involved. 

If you are a trade union member, there are more details on our trade union group website about organising through trade unions.

Check in for general updates: There are weekly online meetings, currently 6-7pm each Thursday (join by video link or dial in from a phone) to bring together people and organisations interested in making 20th September happen. In the calls we discuss the ways in which we’re organising our communities and groups, how we can collaborate, event logistics, sourcing resources, supporting one another and so on. To join via your computer, phone or tablet, click on the link https://wwf.zoom.us/j/571969920 and download the Zoom app when prompted. Or call 020 3051 2874, enter the Meeting ID (571 969 920) when prompted.

Action: call on the TUC to support the climate strikes

In September UCU are bringing a motion to the TUC Congress for the TUC to call a 30 minute workplace stoppage on the day of the strikes – the first time in over 30 years that the TUC has issued such a call on any issue. To get this motion passed UCU will need to demonstrate how widespread the support for it is – please sign up and share, whether you are a trade union member or not. 

Barnet TUC MEETING SEPTEMBER 12TH

We are meeting at the Greek Cypriot Brotherhood, Britannia Road Fincley, 7pm as usual.

07:00 PM 1 Attendance and apologies
07:05 PM 2 Review minutes of 2018 AGM
07:10 PM 3 Matters Arising from the Minutes
07:15 PM 4 Barnet Stand Up to Racism Launch
07:30 PM 5 Launch of Barnet Stand Up to Racism
07:45 PM 6 20th of September Climate Strike
07:55 PM 7 Proposal for End of Year Music Night
08:10 PM 8 Industrial reports
08:30 PM 9 Meeting Ends

Can you help organise to save Cricklewood Walk-in Centre?

You might have heard that the only walk-in centre in Cricklewood is under threat of closure. 24,000 people use this walk-in centre every year.

It is one of only four walk-in centres in Barnet.

Over 100 walk-in centres have closed since the Tories came into power, making it increasingly difficult for patients to get an appointment and putting huge pressure on A&E units.

Can you help us spread the word?

We will be canvassing the area surrounding the walk-in centre to speak with residents and encourage them to come along to a public meeting to organise and save the walk-in centre.

Thursday 5th and Wednesday 11th of September

Meet at Cricklewood station at 6.30pm.

SCWC FLYER 17TH SEP (1).pdf

Barnet STAND UP TO RACISM LAUNCH – SUNDAY 15th of SEPTEMBER

BARNET STAND UP TO RACISM LAUNCH EVENT
Sunday 15th September 2.30 to 5pm
Woodhouse College, North Finchley, N12 9EY

Speakers include:
Jacqueline McKenzie on the Windrush scandal.
Sabby Dhalu from Stand Up To Racism .
Rabbi Herschel Gluck OBE
and Show Racism the Red Card (TBC)
Plus a panel of local speakers

There is no doubt that the far right is manipulating current political issues to further an agenda of division and hatred. We are seeing a well documented rise in populism and xenophobic versions of nationalism.

Emboldened by Donald Trump, far right parties have made electoral gains throughout Europe and beyond. There has been a worrying rise in racism, Islamophobia, antisemitism and anti migrant hostility both abroad and within the U.K, where there has been a serious attempt by fascist “Tommy Robinson” and other far right figures to build racist street movements.

In London there has been a big rise in racist attacks and abuse. Specifically in Barnet, the number of Racist and Religious Hate Crimes reported in 2018/2019 Q2 has increased for the second consecutive quarter and is up from 667 last year to 711 this year. Given the strong tradition of anti-racism here in Barnet we believe that we need to come together to marginalise the racists and those who would divide us.

We pledge to stand with our diverse community in Barnet against racism, discrimination and injustice.

This Saturday – Stop the War AGM

Stop the War AGM: Resisting War in the 21st Century
Sat 07 September
Registration: 09:30-10:30 // Conference: 10:30-17:00
Bloomsbury Baptist Church

235 Shaftesbury Ave
London
WC2H 8EP

Book Your Place Here!


Just a reminder that our AGM is this Saturday. All members can attend with full voting rights.

Our annual conference is a chance for members and delegates to assess the risks of war, have their say on Stop the War’s strategy, elect the steering committee and put forward ideas on how to build the movement in the universities, amongst activists and in local communities.  

The afternoon session will focus on the prospect of conflict with Iran. We will discuss how best to resist the drift towards a new war which would bring untold destruction to the Middle East with an excellent panel of speakers:

MCSTRIKERS’ request for help

Dear friends,

Since 2017 McDonald’s workers have been organising and striking for better conditions. They are winning and have already won record pay rises and guaranteed hours. 

If McDonald’s was a country it would be the 68th biggest economy in the world, bigger than countries such as Bulgaria, Myanmar and Uruguay.  McDonald’s has enormous resources at its disposal to stop workers winning their union and a living wage of £15 an hour. Despite McDonald’s efforts, workers are getting organised, but financial instability and chaotic lives caused by low pay and insecure work make meetings of workers hard to bring together. 

Workers need your help!

The BFAWU are looking for volunteer drivers to help bring workers together so they can meet and build their strength.

  • Can you help?
  • Do you have access to a car, and some free time?

This is a great opportunity to be involved and support the McStrike. You will meet brave workers standing up and improving work for everyone,

Cost of petrol covered and food and drink provided for all volunteers

Please get in touch here: https://fastfoodrights.wordpress.com/drivers

Thanks, the McStrike [BFAWU]

16 November- Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance- Trade Union Conference

10.30am – 17.30pm

University of Greenwich, Stephen Lawrence Building, Old Naval College, 30 Park Row, London SE10 9LS

Undercover policing & trade unions: the Political and the Personal

Including sessions on:
Impact of undercover policing on the trade union movement
Women against the State
Privacy & Surveillance in the Workplace
Truth and Fiction: Representations of Spycops on Screen
Undercover policing – inquiry or cover up?

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