Get ready for ♥UNIONS 2018
HeartUnions is back! We want as many of you to get involved as possible and celebrate the good work unions do in workplaces across the country.
HeartUnions will be taking place from 12 to 18 February. This year we’re showcasing the good that unions do in campaigning for fairness and justice at work. Two campaigns we’ll be highlighting in particular are:
Young workers at McDonalds are standing up to insecure work and low pay, and pushing for respect and a voice at work through their union. Sign and share the petition to show your support to the growing voice of McDonald’s workers as they stand up for dignity in work.
Fair Pay For Public Servants
Public service unions have been winning the argument on a fair pay settlement, after eight years of real terms pay cuts. Now we need to keep up the pressure for real action and genuine new funding.
We have a collection of HeartUnions resouces for you to download and use throughout the week. We also have pens, mugs, t-shirts and badges you can purchase from our online shop. Get your HeartUnions material.
Keep an eye out for our emails, We’ll be sending more information on resources, activities and actions so you’re fully prepared for HeartUnions week.
heartunions – email@example.com
Tens of thousands will march for our NHS next Saturday in an emergency demonstration called by The People’s Assembly & Health Campaigns Together. The demonstration will demand an end the winter crisis with a cash injection to restore the NHS budget and a commitment to increased funding each year.
Everyday from now until the demo they’ll be running stories on why the NHS demonstration is so important including interviews from the front line, details of the route and speakers, quotes from organisers, union representatives, celebs and more.
Why are you marching?
We’re asking for people to send in a short quote (under 100 words) about why they’re marching and what the NHS means to them – we’ll include a selection of quotes in the Mirror and use others on our website and on social media. Please also include a headshot of yourself in the email. Send these to: firstname.lastname@example.org
How you can help:
- Invite your friends & share the Facebook event
- If you want leaflets / posters you can download and print from our website, pick them up from our office or we can send by post if you order by the end of the weekend. Please email email@example.com to arrange this
- Pass this model motion in your trade union branch, CLP or campaign group if you have a meeting before the weekend
Other exclusive stories and interviews will also be run in the Morning Star newspaper who have always backed our demonstrations, protests and been central to the anti-austerity movement. Keep an eye on their website and paper for details.
In case you missed it:
We would gladly welcome if this email could be forwarded to other union reps who may also be interested in attending.
TUC 10 day courses at Tottenham Centre (n15 4RU)
· Union Reps Stage 1 – 10 Tuesdays from 1st May 2018
· Next Steps – 10 Tuesdays from 1st May 2018
· Health & Safety Stage 1 – 10 Wednesdays from 2nd May 2018
· Certificate in Employment Law – 10 Thursdays from 3rd May 2018
(Half Term – w/c 28th May 2018)
We are currently offering two diploma
Diploma in Occupational Health & Safety – Classroom based – 18th April 2018 – 3rd April 2019 – at level 2 (these dates include summer break and other holidays check with us for further details). This course is still free.
Diploma in employment law – blended learning one evening per week starting 19th April 2018. This course is at level 3. There is a course fee for this course amounting to £2088. In addition, the date may be subject to change.
As you may also be aware we do run be-spoke courses for unions and union branches this could include dealing with redundancies, tackling discrimination at work, sickness absence policies, understanding pensions. We can also arrange for courses to be run at a venue to suit. Do get in touch if you or your union committee wish to run a specialist course.
You can either email trade union education firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 02084423075.
Urgent call for the people of UK, politicians, trade unionists, campaign groups, democrats, intellectuals and all those who take sides with peace, freedom and justice to take immediate action to protest the bombing of Afrin.
On Saturday, 20th January, Turkish war planes launched air strikes on Afrin, one of the three Kurdish cantons in Northern Syria. A ground operation has now begun with the support of the Free Syrian Army.
The Turkish government announced that the operation, cynically dubbed “Olive Branch”, targets the Syrian Kurdish YPG (People’s Protection Units) and ISIS. In fact it is a war being waged on the people of Afrin and sabotages hopes for future peaceful co-existence between the Turks and the Kurds not just inside Turkey but also across the Middle East.
The Syrian government also denies being informed of the military operation targeting Afrin, despite a statement by the Turkish Government that “all parties involved were informed and the operation is being carried out with respect to Syria’s territorial integrity”.
A later statement said 108 targets belonging to Kurdish militants had been hit. The YPG said the strikes were being carried out indiscriminately, and have already killed 9 people, including 6 civilians, and wounded 13 (and rising).
The Turkish government is trying to justify this operation as being for the “protection of the border and security”. In fact, this is a wholly untrue justification of Turkey’s war on the Kurdish population. The real threat to the peoples of Turkey is not its Kurdish neighbours who fought against ISIS and other jihadist gangs in northern Syria and Rojava and built democratic regimes with other peoples of the region.
It is clear that these attacks are not aimed at protecting the security of Turkey because Turkey’s border security is not endangered. Afrin has been the calmest region in the whole Syrian civil war.
Turkey has been waging a war against the Kurdish population in Turkey and has launched these attacks to destroy the Kurdish democratic formations in Northern Syria, considering them as a “bad example”.
The responsibility of the killings lies with Turkey’s ruling AKP government, its leader Erdogan, and those imperialist powers who consent to the attacks. We will not be part of it.
Turkey was placed back on the European Union Human Rights watchlist in April 2017 and has consistently breached Human Rights both within and outside its own jurisdiction. We oppose the UK government’s involvement in arms deals with Turkey and call on our Government to put a stop to these sales.
Solidarity with the People of Turkey (SPOT) calls on the people of the UK, including politicians, trade unionists, campaign groups, democrats, intellectuals and all those who take sides with peace, freedom and justice to take immediate action against these attacks.
Solidarity with the People of Turkey (SPOT)
Send a message of protest to the Turkish Government using the email addresses below.
You can also send a letter to your local MP. If you are unsure what to write, you use the letter below. Also you can also find your MP here: https://www.writetothem.com/
On Saturday, 20th January, Turkish war planes launched air strikes on Afrin, one of the three Kurdish cantons in Northern Syria. This was followed by ground attacks on Sunday with civilian casualties already being reported. We urgently need you, as a Member of Parliament, to take some action to put an end to this bloodshed.
This act of unprovoked warfare by the Turkish state threatens to destablise one of the calmest regions throughout the whole Syrian civil war. Afrin has been a crucial safe haven for people fleeing ISIS in the region, and it must stay that way!
It is clear that the Turkish government’s claim that this war is to protect Turkey’s border and security is simply untrue, and it will have devastating consequences for not just the Kurdish people who will pay with their lives but also the people of Turkey and of the broader region.
The responsibility of the killings lie with Turkey’s ruling AKP government, its leader Erdogan, and those powers who fail to oppose these attacks and take action to influence Turkey to cease its attacks on Afrin with immediate effect.
As a resident of your constituency, I am calling on you to:
raise this issue as a priority with the UK Government,
call for an end to all UK arms sales to Turkey,
publically condemn Turkey’s aggression on the Kurdish regions, and
take any other necessary action to end the bloodshed in Afrin.
I only made it to the second half of the conference by Solidarity for the People of Turkey today, due to having attended SERTUC in the morning, but it was superb and very well attended. Highlights included:
- Leading trade unionists from the DISK union federation and the GIDA-IS food workers’ union, talking about the extreme repression against workers’ in Turkey today, were strikes have been de facto banned and fewer than half of supposedly recognised trade union agreements as honoured as collective bargains.
- Politicians from both the major Turkish opposition parties, talking about the government’s effective destruction of democracy since the failed coup of 2016, its passing of anti-democratic legislation by decree without recourse to parliament and its shocking attempt to resolve the Kurdish question in it’s favour by attacking the Kurdish town of Afrin over the border in Syria.
- Solidarity from British trades unionists like Christine Blower of the NEU/NUT and Bakers’ union leader (and friend of Barnet TUC) Ian Hodson, as well as a message of solidarity from Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who has raised the issue of human and workers’ rights in Turkey throughout Europe and directly with the government itself.
Today’s meeting of South East Region Trades Union Congress (soon to be renamed TUC in London, East and South England, LESE) was made two exceptionally good addresses from Labour politicians.
The first talk was from Emma Dent Coad MP, who last year went from the elation of winning a shock election victory for Labour in the constituency of Kensington & Chelsea to the horror of the Grenfell Tower fire. Emma, a lifelong resident of the borough, a student of architecture and a Labour councillor for twelve years could not be a better person to take on the K&C Tories. The high-handedness of their council administration was almost comically awful long before the tragedy of Grenfell. This was a council that accused Labour of virtue-signalling when they proposed letting a food-bank have the use of a council property, and then praised food banks as being superior to the welfare state. They were enthusiasts for the most extreme rightwing think tanks that permanently label working-class communities as “broken” by “dependency culture” and propose to fix them through means of pure social cleansing, with madcap plans to relocate Londoners to places as far afield as Hastings and Peterborough, places that they would feel completely lost in.
Emma argued that the ideological assault of the Tories cannot be fought on its own terms, which she likened to a sort of rightwing bullshit bingo. “We must challenge the social determinism of the elites… Keeping us debating in a middle ground does not help those we want to represent… We must change the narrative against the monetisation of housing and use our own language, not the language of the Tories.”. During the discussion, numerous delegates raised the ideological attacks that have come from the media, both against Emma and Labour and, horribly, the Grenfell survivors themselves, who are falsely presented as having in some way benefited from the fire. Emma said that this was part of the ideological offensive, and definitely something that is hardening up right now.
After Emma Dent Coad, we were treated to the first adress to SERTUC by Labour Shadow Chancellor for decades, John McDonnell. John informed us that had had the very great pleasure of speaking to City of London asset managers, and telling them he was absolutely in favour of investment from all investors that pay taxes and recognise unions. What he wanted to talk to us about, though, was PFI and the fallout of the Carillion collapse.
“For 20 years, Jeremy and I campaigned against PFI in public services… which is all about making money by ‘sweating the assets’, which means cutting wages and spending.” He explained that the figures, which many people refuse to believe even when presented to them, that the private sector has made services anywhere between 40 and 70% more expensive. He said he had earlier in the week, he’d been discussing Carillion with Royston Bentham, a heroic worker blacklisted by that company for fighting for health and safety at work, just one example of a person who knows only too well working under these conditions are like.
Labour is going to sieze the opportunity presented by this emergency to finally end PFI. Not only will there be no more PFI contracts, but John pledged to bring services back in-house and “re-establish the credentials of direct labour and
services. We will end privatisation, full stop.”. The bigger ideas for reforming industry and work included:
- There will be reform of the financial auditors to put an end to the tax avoidance industry
- Workers will not just get onto company boards, but there will be a workers’ right to buy to enable people to take ownership of businesses they work in
- Trade union rights will be fully restored, with the Tory anti-union laws repealed within the first 100 days of the Labour government
- A ministry of labour will be established that will enable and enforce sectoral bargaining
McDonnell emphasised, particularly in response to discussion from the floor, that a radical Labour government will only succeed if we rebuild the mass labour movement to allow it to survive, and that we need to set ourselves the target of doubling the size of our trade union membership. He rounded up by saying that Labour is holding a potentially ground breaking conference on alternative models of ownership on February the 10th that he urged people to attend, and left us with these words: “We’ve spent a lifetime working towards this, lets sieze the moment!”
Barnet and Haringey More in Common are celebrating the contribution of migrants with a stall on East Finchley High Road and on social media. More info about 1DWU at http://www.1daywithoutus.org/
The purpose is proclaim the message ‘ Proud to be a migrant/Proud to stand with migrants.’ Alternatively, you might choose to bring messages to the day, depending on your organisational or individual priorities. Celebrating migrants and migration does not preclude protest and there are lots of things to protest against: The impact of immigration controls on migrant workers; the ‘hostile environment’; the failure to guarantee EU citizens’ rights; restrictions on health care to migrants. What do you want the country to know about the value that migrants bring to your communities? What migrant voices and perspectives are being left out of the public debate? What would you like to highlight and draw attention to? Why are you proud to be a migrant? Why are you proud to stand with migrants?
Please find attached the Programme of Work derived from the Trades Councils Conference and TUC Campaign Plan, plus an additional report from the TUCJCC relating to the motion to Congress last year, which was passed and is now being taken forwards.
Link here: 2017-2018 Programme of Work – final