UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Saturday, 1 May 2010

May Day: Cubans Once Again Take to the Streets and Plazas‏

As they have done every year since 1959, Cubans will gather for Mayday in Havana’s Plaza de la Revolución and plazas throughout the island to support the revolutionary process in the face of the current anti-Cuban media campaign. http://www.solvision.co.cu/english/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1112:may-day-cubans-once-again-take-to-the-streets-and-plazas&catid=34:portada&Itemid=171

A poem for May 1: Taco Megamarch by Nephtalí‏

Hey Raza
come out of your casa
we gotta demonstrate
the sleeping giant is awake
they raid us in Chicago

Global recognition for quality public service workers this May Day‏

Public Services International, as a member of the Council of Global Unions, has endorsed the common May Day statement issued by the Council this year. This message is an important affirmation of the need to defend the role of quality public services in the rebuilding of economies and communities that have been rent by the global economic crisis, or been shattered by natural disasters.

Friday, 30 April 2010

Nottingham City UNISON lobby against conditions cuts

This lunchtime, well over 400 Nottingham City UNISON members attended a lunchtime protest against the council's unjustified attack on terms and conditions. This fantastic turnout is a reflection of the widespread anger that is felt. Read about it at http://unison-em-locgov.blogspot.com/2010/04/over-400-angry-unison-members-attend.html

The false economy of public spending cuts - TUC‏

The simple assumption that cutting spending will result in a smaller deficit is false. Previous research by the TUC has calculated that a 10% cut in spending could lead to job losses in the public sector of 200,000 and a reduction in the amount spent in the private sector by government of £17 billion' says the TUC General Council in a statement which challenges the assumption that there is no alternative to public spending cuts.

Thursday, 29 April 2010

ETUC urges Europe to stop the speculators‏

In a letter from General Secretary John Monks to policy makers in Europe, the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) expresses its dismay with the European response to the wave of financial speculation that is hitting Greece and now contaminating other euro area member states.

Duffyed up‏

Bigot is a pejorative term and ill chosen by Brown, not only in the circumstances of being caught on microphone but the subject of his comments being a straight talking northern grandma. But before we paint Mrs Duffy as the innocent victim and beatify her as the Mother Teresa of Rochdale lets rewind on the content. http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/general_election/s/1236591_gordon_browns_bigot_gaffe__transcript

Greece in front of the abyss‏

Yannis Almpanis reports from Greece:
The financial situation in Greece is getting worse everyday. For the time being, it is impossible for the country to borrow from the financial markets. The rate of interest for the Greek 10 years bonds is 10,55% (18,50% for the 2 years bonds). In reality nobody wants to lend Greece.

Sodexo's giant outsourcing profits surge on, but fall in USA‏

In the week after nation wide actions against the anti trade union practices of Sodexo in the USA, the company has once again been named as one of the ‘world’s best outsourcing companies’. The International Association of Outsourcing Professionals has ranked Sodexo as the third in the world – the fifth straight year it has been in the top 5 companies. http://www.cnbc.com/id/36796236

Front line services must be protected - Martin McGuinness‏

Deputy First Minister of the Northern Ireland administration, Martin McGuinness has stressed the importance of protecting front line services and the jobs of workers in health and education. The Minister was speaking at the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, Northern Ireland Committee’s Biennial Delegate Conference, held today in Derry:

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Tories show true colours with attack on North East public sector‏

Tory leader David Cameron shows his true colours and just how little his party has changed since the days of Thatcher - for Cameron to be suggesting the North East has too high a share of public investment shows just how out of touch he is. http://m.guardian.co.uk/?id=102202&story=http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/apr/23/david-cameron-paxman-squeeze

Remember the dead, fight for the living‏

On today, Worker’s Memorial Day, all over the world workers and their representatives will conduct events, demonstrations and vigils to "Remember the dead and fight for the living‏". Every year more people are killed at work than in wars. Most don't die of mystery ailments, or in tragic "accidents". They die because an employer decided their safety just wasn't that important a priority. Click here for the TUC's list of events across the UK.

Bankers Junk Greece As Workers Fight Back‏

The bankers' best friends, the credit rating agencies, have repsonded to the fightback by workers by downgrading Greek government bonds to 'junk'. In other words they do not expect the Greek government to able to pay their debts to the buyers.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Public Works campaign is not going away - Dougie Black‏

“Our Public Works campaign is not something that’s going to stand still", UNISON Scotland's Dougie Black tells Holyrood Magazine. “There needs to be reinvestment into the public sector, the public sector needs to be regenerated and there needs to be recognition of the value of the staff", no matter who wins the election. http://www.holyrood.com/index.php?option=com_holyrood&func=article&artid=3704&edition=233&brick=7

Monday, 26 April 2010

Hung Parliament: What happens?‏ Brown can stay in power

Gordon Brown can remain Prime Minister if the General Election returns a hung Parliament. Where a Prime Minister loses his overall majority, and no other party has an overall majority, he can remain in office, says a Hansard Society and the Study of Parliament Group in a publication in March this year. http://www.hansardsociety.org.uk/blogs/press_releases/archive/2010/03/11/what-happens-if-there-s-a-hung-parliament-march-11-2010.aspx

Prentis tells the FT - UNISON is up for the fight ahead‏

UNISON GS Dave Prentis is interviewed in today’s FT and states that “you will see more militancy, you will see more social dislocation if services are wound down. It will be a hell of a test, but I think we are up for it.”

A 2010 media manifesto‏

The media’s job is to inform and entertain us but we rely on them too to tell us what our rulers and representatives are up to. In the run-up to the Iraq war the government used spin and disinformation in the media to create panic and mislead people. The truth is coming out now, but we need stronger, more independent media to be able to scrutinise governments and make informed choices.

The case against Trident‏

The low point of last Thursday’s ‘political celebrity squares’ debate of the main party leaders was the Brown/Cameron portrayal of Clegg as a ‘risk to national security’ for standing by the Lib Dem manifesto commitment to scrap Trident nuclear missile system replacement programme.

GAZA BOUND Irish join relief effort by sea

The Free Gaza Campaign is hoping to put a new addition to its fleet into action bringing humanitarian aid to the blockaded Gaza Strip as soon as possible, reports the ICTU's Union Post magazine. Volunteers are currently re-fitting the MV Linda, an 1,800 tonne cargo vessel bought at auction in Dundalk. The vessel – soon to be renamed MV Rachel Corrie - will set sail for the Mediterranean in May where it will join an international flotilla of vessels packed with supplies in a bid to challenge the illegal blockade and its devastating consequences for the population of Gaza. http://www.ictu.ie/publications/fulllist/union-post-april-2010/

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Acropolis Now - The Role of City Traders in the Greek Economy‏

While our fellow public service workers strike and take to the streets to defend their living standards and the fabric of the society the City traders at the bond dealing desks of the big City of London banks are betting on the outcome and making huge sums of money

Spot the famous actor?‏

As their final day in the U.S. as part of the two-country delegation of Sodexo workers and unionists from Great Britain and France, global guests gathered with Sodexo workers from Emory University, Loyola University, George Mason University in preparation for this afternoon's culminating action at Sodexo's U.S. headquarters. UNISON's Bob Oram  told the group, "It's been an incredible honor to meet actual workers who have undertaken these actions. Every one of them has been so courageous and brave in what they're doing." http://cleanupsodexo.org/2010/04/international-visitors-meet-with-seiu-le.php

In the sweep of human rights by Larry Ebersole‏

(dedicated to Champa Devi Shukla & Rashida Bee)
She sweeps like Shiva’s
universal dance against ignorance
cleaning up the toxic details
without fear of reprisals,
she sweeps the excuses
out from beneath the corporate
imported subsidy rug
where Mr. Executive Empire
piles up his indictment
to face criminal charges in India