Category Archives: Economy

Ideas whose time have come: report on the excellent Lucas Plan conference

On Saturday the 26th of November, Birmingham was host to “The Lucas Plan – An Idea Whose Time has Come?” and I think it was easily one of the best labour movement conferences held this year. It used the 40 year anniversary of the release of the seminal document as the basis for a wide ranging discussion about the work, technology and social and environmental justice. It is a rare achievement to so perfectly unite the labour, peace and ecological movements.

The conference was opened with a short introductory film, The Plan, and then an address from Phil Asquith, one of Lucas Aerospace trades unionists who, in response to the threat of job losses and following an intense discujobsnotbombsssion about progressive alternatives with Tony Benn (then Minister for Industry in the Labour government) helped to create detailed proposals for diversifying the use of high technology away from destructive military purposes toward making products that could actually make the world a better place and be socially useful.

Aside from generating excitement and debate amongst progressive people across world, Phil emphasised that the plan was successful in two very important ways. The first of these is that the plan, in the short term, did enable the workers to stave off compulsory redundancies (obviously the original point). The second, longer term achievement is that many of the radical designs and inventions that the workers’ proposed, Phil cited hybrid engines as a really good example, have since been industrially realised. The conference opened up the possibility that it might make a third contribution: it’s spirit of using the talents and creativity of workers’ exercising control over to produce for social and environmental gain, rather than private profit, could help diversify technology away from the carbon economy and create an economy that could fight the menace of climate change.

Following the opening session, there were three rounds of workshop sessions, with four choices of workshop in each. It is a credit to the quality of the meetings that the Breaking the Frame collective had organised that I and most of the other people I spoke on the day where experiencing genuine dilemmas trying to decide which ones to go to! Myself I went to:

  1. A meeting by a councillor in the Isle of Wight and an organiser with London-based community organising group on how to draw up policy proposals for green jobs and sustainable housing.
  2. An introduction to the seminal book “Architect or Bee?”, written by Lucas Aerospace workers leader Mike Cooley, laying out some of the deeper political ideas behind and raised by the Lucas Plan.
  3. A discussion about workers and robotic and automation, lead off by an agricultural worker and a logistics worker. Getting these two points of view was an extremely good start on this issue, which is a massive controversy within the movement at the moment,lucas-aerospace-systems-equipment-sticker and I was pleased to hear an very sophisticated discussion from the floor around the issue.

I was unable to go to meetings I would have very much like to hear on topics like arms conversion and the real meaning of socially useful production. I do hope the organisers make recordings of these available online.

The meeting heard addresses from two union deputy general secretaries, Tony Kearns of the CWU and Chris Baugh of the PCS, and two MEPs, Molly Scott Cato of the Greens and Julie Ward from Labour, and it was really good to see them strongly endorsing the ideas of the event. It felt like a real step forward for a specifically left environmentalism and, as one person said near the end of the day, the theme of workers’ control and ran through everything. This was a concept our movement used to hold dear and ought to return to. Tony Kearns probably put it best when he emphasised that we have already seen that the institutions of the top of society – businesses, governments and even the TUC – have already failed to take the steps needed to protect the environment, so we have to be like the Lucas workers and think from the bottom up.

Celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Lucas Plan!

 

Veteran trade unionists and younger activists see Nobel prize-nominated plan as inspiration for the future

Leading figures from the left, trade union, environmental and peace movements are coming together at a conference on November 26th with a fresh perspective on tackling current crises, using the ideas of socially useful production pioneered in the Lucas Plan. The Plan, produced by workers at the Lucas Aerospace arms company, showed how jobs could be saved by converting to make products that answer a social need, rather than weapons. See www.lucasplan.org.uk, or the notes below for more information on the Lucas Plan.

The conference will focus on 5 key themes:

  • The Lucas Plan and socially useful production.lucas
  • Arms conversion and peace.
  • Climate change and a socially just transition to sustainability.
  • The threat to skills and livelihoods from automation.
  • Local/community economic and industrial planning.

Linking all these issues is the need to rethink how we can produce what people and society actually need and overcome corporate domination through their control of technology.

Highlights of the conference will include:

  • Talks by Phil Asquith, Brian Salisbury and Mick Cooney (Lucas Aerospace Shop Stewards Combine).
  • Screening of a new film on the Lucas Plan by Steve Sprung.

Contributions from: Chris Baugh (PCS), Suzanne Jeffery (Million Climate Jobs Campaign), Hilary Wainwright (Red Pepper), John McDonnell (tbc), Natalie Bennett, Molly Scott-Cato and Jonathan Essex (Green Party), Philip Pearson (TUC), Romayne Phoenix (People’s Assembly Against Austerity), Mary Pearson (Birmingham Trades Council), Manuel Cortes (TSSA, tbc), Mika Mino-Paluello (Global Justice Now), Philippa Hands (UNISON), Stuart Parkinson (Scientists for Global Responsibility), Dave Elliott (Open University), Liz Corbin (Institute of Making), Tony Simpson (Bertrand Russell Foundation), Dave King (Breaking the Frame), Simon Fairlie (The Land magazine), Karen Leach (Localise West Midlands), Marisol Sandoval (City University), Tom Unterrainer (Bertrand Russell Foundation), John Middleton (Medact), Gail Chester (Feminist Library), plus more speakers to be announced.

The conference on the Lucas Plan 40th anniversary will be held at Birmingham Voluntary Service Council (138 Digbeth, Birmingham, B5 6DR) on November 26, 2016. See www.lucasplan.org.uk. The conference is being organised and sponsored by: former members of the Lucas Aerospace Shop Stewards Combine, Breaking the Frame, PCS, UCU, Million Climate Jobs Campaign, Green Party, Scientists for Global Responsibility, Campaign Against Arms Trade, CND, Left Unity, Quaker Peace and Social Witness, Red Pepper, War on Want and Conference of Socialist Economists

Tickets are £10/£5 concessions: To book for the conference, visit

www.lucasplan.org.uk/tickets. For more information, email info@breakingtheframe.org.uk

BACKGROUND INFO: The Lucas Aerospace Shop Stewards Combine’s Alternative Corporate Plan (‘The Lucas Plan’) was launched in 1976 and became famous worldwide, sparking an international movement for socially useful production and workers’ plans. Facing the threat of redundancies, the Combine collected 150 ideas from shop floor workers about alternative socially useful products that could be produced by the company, instead of relying on military orders. Many of the innovations in the plan, such as hybrid car engines, heat pumps and wind turbines were commercially viable and are now in widespread use. Although the Alternative Plan was rejected by Lucas Aerospace managers, it was instrumental in protecting jobs at Lucas in the 1970s. The Combine was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 and Mike Cooley received the Right Livelihood Award in 1982. More information about the Plan, including the 53-page summary of the five 200 page volumes, can be found on the conference website, www.lucasplan.org.uk.

Protect Jobs, Defend Living Standards – Trades Union Councils’ Programme of Work for 2016/7

Protect

The theme for the Trades Union Councils Programme of Work for 2016 to 2017 is ‘Protect Jobs, Defend Living Standards’. It sets out a positive vision of trade unions as we know them to be: a democratic force for fairness in the modern workplace. It highlights the role that trades union councils play in developing and promoting trades unions and in campaigning on the core values of the TUC and the union movement.

The key areas of campaigning for the year are:

  1. protecting workers’ rights to strike, promoting trade unionism and building union organisation;
  2. setting out the case for a high investment, high productivity economy with great jobs and skills at its heart;
  3. making devolution and decentralisation work for people;
  4. reaching out to young workers;
  5. support and campaigning for the Welfare Charter
  6. fighting racism and fascism

This programme of work has developed by the TUCJCC to ensure that trades union councils can identify their part in TUC campaigns and help implement the resolutions passed at the 2016 trades union councils conference.

Read the programme in full.

State of the Economy Conference Report Back

State_of_the_economy

This Saturday, the Labour held a ground-breaking conference on a vision of the future for the left. John McDonnell kicked off events by introducing a speech by the internationally renowned economist Ha-Joon Chang, who layed out a powerful case for the re-industrialisation of Britain. I would be unable to do justice to his full presentation and those of the many other good speakers, hopefully they will be made available on-line soon.

What I will do is focus on the absolutely superb content of the first breakout workshop I attended. In his opening remarks, McDonnell said that part of the point of the event was that Labour isn’t just a party of protest, it is a party that is looking to make real and lasting change. He said he wants Labour to lead an entrepreneurial state, with the setting up of a National Investment Bank and a co-operative sector that will be doubled in size. The workshop “Alternative Models of Ownership” provided some vision of how these aspirations could, and in some cases do, work in practice.

The session had three speakers, the first of whom was Professor Andrew Cumbers of Glasgow University, a writer on the failure of neoliberal policies worldwide and the emergence of new forms of enterprises and services that ave been formed in opposition to them. He said Latin America had led the way, as a result of the struggle against privatised water and sanitation, in which novel “hybrid” water providers have been established, which combine state and co-operative ownership. It is a form de-centralised public sector, that does not have to depend on the massive public sector model left wing governments relied on in the 20th Century. This hybrid model has more recently spread to France and even some American cities. It also how green electricity is being implemented in parts of Europe, including much of Denmark and even the English city of Nottingham. Cumbers said that we, as a movement, need to grapple with widely-held criticisms of the old models of centralised public ownership, and point to working alternatives that aren’t just the market.

The second speaker was easily one of the most qualified people in England to discuss such matters. Councillor Matthew Brown was able to talk about what he and his colleagues in Labour-run Preston Council have done to significantly improve the local economy. Preston council has made radical changes by looking around the world at progressive municipalities and learning from them. One of the key examples for all this has been the Spanish Basque Country’s venerable co-operative Mondragon Corporation. Mondragon’s long-standing commitment to what it calls community wealth building has contributed to the regions living standards being around 30% better than the national average. This has led the council to become interested in two key concepts:

  • Anchor Institutions – the services, groups and business that hold the local economy together
  • Sticky Capital – the concept of getting wealth made in the area to get re-invested and spent in the area

Mondragon

Based on this thinking, the council has achieved the following:

  • Vastly expanded the living wage at local businessesGuild
  • Promoted co-operatives to fill gaps in the local economy
  • Expanded the membership of credit unions and introduced a local “guild money” scheme to encourage people to spend local
  • Begun a campaign to get people to “move their money local”, into smaller regional building societies which are more secure than the big banks

Set up a Social Forum to find out what people in Preston want to see done for the economy
The Preston Model is currently one Labour’s most exciting successes and something we should really be talking about everywhere.

The final speaker in the session was Jenny Rouse, who works for left wing think tank the Centre for Local Economic Strategies. She followed on from Councillor Brown’s presentation by talking about how the approaches Preston have used can and are be applied in other cities. She also revisited some of the themes that Andrew Cumbers had discussed, saying that all the traditional sectors of the economy have there own drawbacks (the private sector chases profit, the public sector is bureaucratic and the voluntary sector is governed by its funding) and that all three need to be moderated with a people-focused strategy.

This was only one of ten workshops throughout the day, and the content of the others will hopefully be available elsewhere. The second one I attended was on Technology and the Future of Work, which contained some very interesting discussion about automation, decentralisation and the rise of the self-employed as a large proportion of the working class, which was also very good. The conference ended on a very high note with a broad panel of speakers and a closing speech from Jeremy Corbyn. It has been a huge success and will, hopefully, be only the first of many such events as we work towards a Labour government.

John McDonnell’s speech to the Co-operative conference

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Thank you very much for the opportunity to say a few words at the conference today.

I wanted to cover three things.

First, where the economy is today, and the problems we face.

Second, the huge challenge facing all those on the left in attempting to address these problems.

Third, how our movement can start to develop a convincing strategy to deal with this.

Co-operatives, shared ownership, and workplace democracy all have a central role to play here. We can’t turn the clock back.

We need a wide-ranging debate on the way forward.

Jeremy laid out some key ideas last weekend, in his speech to the Fabian conference.

At the heart of his argument is the case for fairness.

We currently live in an economy that is visibly failing on this score.

Co-operatives should, I believe, play an essential part in the economy of the future.

But we live in an economy held back by the past.

Wealth is more concentrated now than it has been for a century or more.

Social mobility has dwindled.

Financial legislation is being unwound and serious attempts at scrutiny scrapped, just a few years after the catastrophic crash that was the bankers’ responsibility.

Yet we have lived with a succession of governments who have promised the opposite.

They believed that by unleashing markets, governments would unleash opportunity and creativity.

This approach promised new freedom for individuals, free from the dead hand of the state.

The Tories promised a “shareholding democracy” would arrive through privatisation. A “trickle-down effect” would mean that, even if the rich got very rich indeed, everyone else would be a little better off.

But the promises of freedom and “popular capitalism” turned out to be illusory.

Today, share ownership by individuals is at the close to the lowest level ever recorded. Just 12% of shares are owned by individuals in the UK, down from 28% in 1982, and pension funds own only 3%.

So a “shareholding democracy” never happened.

What we saw instead was an immense concentration of wealth in the hands of the very few.

Today, 62 people own the same wealth as half the world’s population.

But the same process was arguably more sweeping in Britain than many other places.

We moved, on economist Thomas Piketty’s figures, from one of the most equal economies in the Western world, to one of the most unequal.

As a share of GDP, the state wasn’t shrunk. But it was transformed.

On one hand, government became more centralised. Local authorities, for example, were stripped of their powers.

On the other side, the state became more passive, just moving money from one place to another. So the share of public spending on social security has risen as that for investment has fallen.

And when our banks crashed, the state was there, in effect, to arrange an immense transfer of wealth for them, backed up with promises of more.

We bailed out the banking system, and stabilised the economy, at vast expense.

And caught up in the crisis was the Co-op Bank: an institution behaving too little like a co-op and too much like a commercial bank.

We are left with a world in which the fundamental promises of the free market approach have not been delivered.

Instead of a trickle-down effect, we have had a monstrous “trickle-up”. Instead of a more dynamic economy, productivity has slumped.

George Osborne, since becoming Chancellor, has squandered his chance to resolve any of these structural problems.

Our economy remains unbalanced. Whilst services have recovered, manufacturing has actually shrunk since 2008.

Employment in London has risen by 12%. Employment in the rest of the whole country is up just 0.3%.

Our imbalance with the rest of the world, the current account deficit, has reached record levels in the last twelve months.

After years of collectively repaying their debts, households have begun to borrow again.

Unsecured lending, the riskiest kind, on things like credit cards and payday loans, is rising rapidly. TUC research reports that the number of people with “problem debt” has risen by 700,000 in the last two years, to 3.2 million.

The gender pay gap remains stubbornly large, at 9.4%.

This is what austerity economics has left us with and, if it continues, the next Labour government will have to repair the damage.

We can’t turn the clock back

However, we need to be quite clear about this. Whatever the achievements of the past, we cannot simply turn the clock back – whether to 1997, 1964, or 1945.

We must defend, and we are defending, those achievements. The victory on tax credits was one part of that. We now have the fight of a generation in defence of our NHS and so much else.

A priority for the next Labour government will be in sustaining the good that has been achieved in the past.

But that isn’t enough. The changes that have been wrought in our society over that period of time are now so great that they impose the need for a profound shift in how we think about changing the world.

The reasons are well-known. First, what some still think of as the traditional working class has been shrunk. Manufacturing today accounts for just ten percent of all employment.

Only 14% of private sector workers are in a union.

The working class today is still the clear majority of the population. But it is far more fragmented. The ability to win a political majority by appealing to major sectional interests has waned as a result.

The forward march of labour hasn’t “halted”. But it has changed its uniform.

Second, there is the immense cynicism about our major institutions. Big business, banks, the media: none are trusted. But nor are politicians.

So whilst opinion polls report clear majority support for basic, longstanding demands like nationalising the railways, there is a deep cynicism about the capacity of government to deliver.

Put these two factors together, and they mean we’ve depended for too long on a strategy that looked only to the state as a vehicle for change.

The argument that came to dominate the left, from at least the 1930s, was a simple one.

First take the state. Then use the state to change society.

This simple proposition achieved an extraordinary amount. We live today with the legacy of what the labour movement and its party have achieved.

Some of our most enduring and popular institutions – the NHS outstanding amongst them – were the product of this way of thinking.

Capitalism, it was argued during the long boom after the Second World War, had been successfully tamed. It was no longer the brutal struggle depicted by its early critics.

Government intervention and the welfare state had smoothed its rough edges. Private property in production was no longer sacrosanct and giant corporations effectively planned and managed large chunks of the economy.

Government’s main task was to redistribute from a growing economy. Rising equality would follow.

Deeper questions of ownership, control, and democracy were left to one side.

Labour governments, Old and New, thought and worked like this.

So the post-war boom saw rapid economic growth and falling inequality under Old Labour governments.

New Labour, meanwhile, oversaw a decade of rapid growth, and restrained the growth of inequality.

Both approaches involved a compromise with the reality of capitalism in their day.

Their success, however, meant deeper questions about the economy were left unasked by the mainstream of Labour.

And that, in turn, left Labour governments unprepared for system-wide crises.

The first, in the 1970s, brought about the collapse of the global economic order that had sustained rapid growth for the previous thirty years.

The second, at the end of the 2000s, brought about the collapse of the financial system that had sustained rapid growth for a decade.

We are still very much living through the consequences of that second collapse. We may yet find ourselves confronted by what Bank of England Chief Economist Andrew Haldane has called the “third wave” of global crisis.

If New Labour made a mistake that Old Labour did not, it was to cede too much to the existing powers.

This compromise meant a Labour government had to rely on a fundamentally unsustainable model of debt-driven growth.

We need to change the rules of the game.

Left unchanged, we can see the direction of travel.

Rising inequality, as Thomas Piketty and others have suggested.

Increased environmental destruction.

The erosion of our basic civil rights, in our workplaces and outside them.

Our problem, today, is that we must learn to think systemically about the kind of economy we want.

And where our opponents now warn and threaten about the terrors ahead, we must present a positive case for the future we all want.

The charity Nesta published a fascinating piece of research recently, showing how “future-focused” the different party manifestos were in last year’s election.

The Tories talked relentlessly, overwhelmingly about the future. Labour, strikingly, did not.

We cannot allow that to happen again. We cannot be small ‘c’ conservatives.

But the future we want will be built on the best of what we do now. We learn from the past.

As anti-fascist writer Carlo Levi put it, the future has an ancient heart.

The co-operative tradition

If the old economic strategies have run their course, we must look elsewhere.

There is a long labour movement tradition of decentralisation and grass-roots organisation. But it has been somewhat hidden by the success of the alternative.

This radical tradition has deep roots in our collective history. From RH Tawney, GDH Cole and the guild socialists, back to the Rochdale Pioneers, the Society of Weavers in Fenwick, Ayrshire, and even further back to the radicals of the English Civil War.

With the stress on self-organisation and on-the-ground solutions to problems, this tradition stressed the need to organise not just to win the state.

Even in the successes of the state, however, we can see this tradition at work. Take the NHS, the crowning achievement of Labour’s greatest government.

But it was modelled on and inspired by the medical benefit fund in Tredegar – Aneurin Bevan’s home town. This was a fund set up by a local initiative to provide medical treatment to the local community. It was a hugely successful scheme.

Bevan said, when asked about his plans as Health Minister, that what he was doing was “extending to the entire population of Britain the benefits we had in Tredegar for a generation or more. We are going to ‘Tredegarise’ you.”

There is a thread within the labour and radical movement of self-organisation, running right back even before the Chartists to those early organisers for democracy against “Old Corruption”.

We have much to draw on here. A tradition and an argument within the labour movement that stressed not just the need to make demands of the state, and to implement top-down measures, but work from the bottom-up, can provide a natural fit with both the changed society we inhabit, and the changes we can see coming.

Technology is proving disruptive. It can have terrible downsides – deskilling and an accelerated concentration of wealth.

But it also opens up new possibilities – the explosion of sharing that the Internet can provide.

There is an entrepreneurial spirit at work here: not the theatrical meanness and one-upmanship of Gordon Gekko, but a desire to create something better for us all.

The expansion of co-operatives in Britain since the crisis, matching developments across the rest of the world, shows the potential. There are now more than 7,000 independent co-operatives throughout the UK, contributing £35bn to the economy.

Co-operative businesses are more stable. Whilst only one in three new businesses makes it through the difficult first five years, four out of five co-ops do.

An effective economic strategy for the left would look now to build on this.

It means thinking beyond using the state to redistributeincomes. It means thinking about how we can ensureassets are distributed more fairly.

Next steps

We can already see where this is happening. Local councils, pushed to their limits by spending cuts, have been forced to respond to deteriorating economic conditions.

Oldham Council has looked to develop its own responses to the crisis, working with Oldham Credit Union to reduce the burden of problem debt locally. Its Fair Employment Charter rewards local employers and looks to use local authority procurement to improve working conditions.

Enfield council in London has developed innovative contracting models with major local employers to support good jobs.

And Preston, inspired by the example of Cleveland, Ohio, has developed an extensive programme of work. Preston was one of the councils facing the very sharpest cuts to its funding out of any in the country. But they are responding creatively.

They have got major local employers and buyers – so-called anchor institutions, like the University of Central Lancashire – to drive through a local programme of economic transformation. By changing their procurement policies, these anchor institutions were able to drive up spending locally.

They’re looking to shift a proportion of the joint council’s £5.5bn pension fund to focus on local businesses, keeping the money circulating in Preston.

And the council is actively seeking opportunities to create local co-operatives as a part of local business succession, working with the local Chamber of Commerce. The aim is to sustain high quality local employment, by giving the chance for workers to keep a business in local hands.

It’s inspiring to see Labour councils responding to profound challenges like this.

It is not enough to oppose austerity. We must also provide a vision of the future. In embryo, and in dire circumstances, some of what Labour local authorities are doing is precisely that.

But it is action at scale that can make the biggest difference.

What the central government does still matters – even if it cannot, and should not, do everything.

A future Labour government will end the current programme of spending cuts. We will protect what has already been won.

But we must look beyond this point. We should be seizing the opportunity to create a fairer, more democratic society.

Osborne wants to make the government smaller, blindly hacking away at essentials like flood defences.

We think government should be smarter. That means recognizing the limits of central government – but recognizing also when it can help.

It’s not about flipping Osborne on his head, and simply increasing government spending. But we know there are some things government can do better.

Vital infrastructure spending has fallen under this government. Labour will invest, and invest across the whole country.

A fairer economy requires a fairer tax system. The great majority of people pay their taxes because they know taxes sustain the services we all need. It’s part of what makes a good, functioning, fair society.

Yet we have large corporations and the super-rich apparently viewing tax payments as an optional extra. That can’t go on. Ultimately, it undermines the public services we all need – and forces the burden of taxation onto people less able to carry it.

We can’t pretend state spending is the answer to everything. There are clear limits on what can be achieved here. But we can make the system work far better, and distribute the burden more fairly.

My colleague Seema Malhotra is currently looking at the current system of so-called “tax expenditures” – the different get-outs and reliefs provided by the tax system.

A thicket of different schemes has grown up, costing the taxpayer £110bn a year. Some of this will be justified. But some of it will not be. We’ll look at whether we need to simplify the system so it is fairer to everyone and encourages the growth a fair and prosperous economy.

We’d create a fairer tax system, taxing assets in an economically efficient way. And we’d help create the conditions for a flourishing of co-operative entrepreneurship.

We’d work with our partners in the Co-operative Party to help bring this about.

The biggest hurdle faced in establishing co-ops is in initial funding.

Small businesses in general, and not just co-operatives, face dreadful difficulties in getting the funding they need from our high-street banks.

No other major developed economy has just five banks providing 80% of loans. We’d look to break up these monopolies, introducing real competition and choice.

Regional and local banks, prudently run and with a public service mandate, have to be part of the solution here.

With consortium co-operatives providing an effective means for new businesses to share and reduce costs, we’d look to support these at a local level, working with local authorities, businesses and trade unions.

Italy’s Marcora Law, providing matched funding for those seeking to establish co-ops, is a model worth considering.

We will look into the recommendation in Graeme Nuttall’s report on employee ownership, creating a statutory right to request employee ownership and have proposals considered by their employers.

We should look to extend this approach, offering employees first rights on buying out a company or plant that is being dissolved, sold, or floated on the stock exchange.

The Tories have offered a “Right to Buy”.

Labour would seek to better this. We’d be creating a new “Right to Own”.

We will discuss these co-operative ideas as Labour’s “New Economics” lecture series, which we announced this week, is expanded across the country.

And as our policy development process rolls out over the next few years we will ask ourselves time and time again how the practical, everyday-socialist principles of the co-operative movement can be applied.

In an uncertain world where a laissez faire market approach continues to fail, co-operation is an idea whose time has come again.

This is the start of developing a new, positive economic alternative for Labour.

It’s the new economics.

UNITE THE RESISTANCE – Defend Our Unions – July 2015

UNITE THE RESISTANCE

Defend Our Unions – July 2nd 2015

A fantastic conference Chaired by Helen Davies, Barnet UNISON/Barnet Trades Council.

SPEAKERS included: 

Mark Serwotka PCS General Secretary,

Michelle Stanistreet NUJ General Secretary,

John McDonnell Labour MP,

Chris Stephens SNP MP,

Glen Hart RMT,

Dave Smith Co-Author ‘Blacklisted: The Secret War between Big Business & Union Activists’,

Paula Peters Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC),

Glasgow Homeless Caseworker strikers,

Amelia Womack Green Party Deputy Leader,

Ian Hodson BFAWU National President

 

 

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