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

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Phoney War by Hamish Henderson‏

(western front)

It was Christmas Day in the Workhouse
And dangerous Dan McGrew
Was fighting to save the pudding
For a lady by the name of Sue.

All was quiet on the Western Front,
The waves were beating on the shore;
So send for the life-boat at Wigan -
We've never had it from there before.


Friday, 24 December 2010

Ireland nationalises Allied Irish Bank with €3.7bn from state pension fund‏

A run on a bank is the worse kind of exposure as there is nowhere near enough money in the bank to pay the depositers. The con trick of banking is fully exposed. So the government robs the peoples pension savings to prop up the bank. Nice one: http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/dec/23/ireland-nationalises-allied-irish-banks

Thursday, 23 December 2010

UK found to be in severe breach of trade union and workers rights‏

The European Committee of Social Rights has examined the application of the European Social Charter by the United Kingdom. Its report was published on 17 December 2010 and found severe breaches of trade union and workers' rights:. http://tinyurl.com/2b8yq3k

New spate of death threats in Colombia‏

A group of Colombian organizations have alerted the international and national communities to repeated death threats against social and human rights organizations in the Cauca Valley region. The threats, stigmatizing the work of human rights defenders, are systematic. Between 22 October 2009 and 14 December 2010, eleven death threats have been received, one as a fax, the rest as text messages sent simultaneously to all the organizations via mobile phone.

Something rotten in the state of Oldham?

A row has broken out about the previous homophobic tactics of the Tory candidate in the upcoming Oldham East and Saddleworth by election as the Telegraph suggests Cameron is trying to engineer a Lib Dem victory. All in an election called because Phil Woolas was stripped of the seat for 'illegal practice'. With public services facing decimation and a million being thrown on the dole, is there any chance of the by election being about the economy, stupid?

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Hapless Cable makes Mr Bean seem a paragon of tact‏

The political career of Tory patsy Vince Cable MP has been marked by duplicity. A Labour Councillor in Glasgow from 1971-74, subsequently in 1982 he defected to the breakaway SDP. As recently as 1997 he was Chief Economist for the Shell transnational oil company (renowned for human rights violations in Nigeria). In 2005, he was one of the 11 right wing Liberal Democrat front benchers who ousted Charles Kennedy as Party leader.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Even at the IMF....

Even at the IMF the penny is beginning to drop. Decreasing workers bargaining power leads to financial crisis and the best way out of crisis is increasing wages. Those are the findings of a working paper put together by two of their economists. Michael Kumhof and Romain Rancière

Economic crisis provides opportunity to improve wages in developing countries -ILO‏

A new International Labour Organisation (ILO) report suggests the economic crisis could provide an opportunity to improve wages in developing countries: http://www.guardian.co.uk/global-development/poverty-matters/2010/dec/16/ilo-global-wages-report

Unions must promote and protect the interests of members - Keith Ewing‏

Professor Keith Ewing responds to the vitriolic editorial attack on unions in yesterday’s Guardian (the beloved alternative to the Morning Star for so many smug, centre left ‘progressives’):

Workers pay docked for observing two-minute Pike River silence‏

A New Zealand farming leader and Silver Fern Farms supplier has slammed the company for docking meatworkers' pay for observing two minutes' silence for the Pike River miners. Slaughter chain workers at the Silver Fern Farms Te Aroha plant lost two cattle each from their daily quota after stopping work to pay their respects to the 29 miners who lost their lives in the coal mine disaster.  Not paying the staff for the lost production saved the company between 98c and $1.60 for each worker.

Debt Bringing Cities to Their Knees‏

$2 trillion debt crisis threatens to bring down 100 US cities whom face financial collapse in 2011, defaulting on hundreds of billions of dollars of borrowings and derailing the US economic recovery. Nor are European cities safe – Florence, Barcelona, Madrid, Venice: all are in trouble. http://www.guardian.co.uk.../business/2010/dec/20/debt-crisis-threatens-us-cities

Monday, 20 December 2010

TUC alerts Cameron to 'divisive and dangerous cuts'‏

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber has commented on today’s TUC meeting with Prime Minister David Cameron: 'The UK is currently in the grips of a bleak midwinter. Today we warned the Prime Minister that next year promises to be even bleaker for millions of families and their communities as the spending cuts bite hard and hit jobs and services. We made clear to the Prime Minister our strong view that the spending cuts would both be socially divisive and economically dangerous.’
To read statement in full go to: http://www.tuc.org.uk/economy/tuc-18956-f0.cfm

Birmingham Refuse Dispute‏

John Gray reports on today's joint strike action by UNISON, GMB and Unite members at Birmingham City Council: http://grayee.blogspot.com/2010/12/picket-line-at-birmingham-fleet-waste.html?spref=tw

The truth about the local government grant settlement‏

The East Midlands region of UNISON has done an interesting and very revealing analysis of the local government grant settlement for all councils in England. The region has obtained data for all councils and looked at the political control of each council.

"Cameron to meet TUC chiefs at No 10" - a 5 point negotiators brief‏

The Sunday Telegraph reported yesterday that a 'highly symbolic' meeting is being arranged between union leaders and Prime Minister David Cameron: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/david-cameron/8211694/Cameron-to-meet-TUC-chiefs-at-No-10.html

Caste-based discrimination exists across Britain‏

New research commissioned by the Government has found that caste-based discrimination exists across Britain, prompting further calls to outlaw the malpractice that blights the lives of many people with origins in the Indian sub-continent.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Osborne Looks To Make PFI Savings - Will Workers Pay?‏

Con Dem Cancellor George Osborne is hoping to shave hundreds of millions of pounds off the cost of thousands of controversial private finance initiative deals in an attempt to cut Government spending still further.

UNISONActive debate: This is no guarantee for NHS workers‏

10 days on since the NHS employers proposed a two-year block on incremental progression for 100,000s of NHS staff in England and in return offered no compulsory redundancies for part of the workforce and finally the media are reporting it as news;

Good Catholic Girl - Circa 1950 by Judith Quaempts‏

Moira O’Shea.
Bless her heart.
Ten children,
a husband who beats her.