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

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

GMB & UNISON launch 2 million strong alliance to fight austerity

Hard on the heels of Paul Kenny's very well received address to UNISON NDC last week, the GMB General Secretary has joined forces with Dave Prentis to announce a 'powerful new alliance to campaign against the Tory-led coalition’s damaging austerity agenda'

A similar initiative was launched in 2007 but fell at the first hurdle when, despite a statement of intent to adopt a common approach, GMB and UNISON supported different candidates in the Labour Party Deputy leadership election (Peter Hain and Alan Johnson respectively):

In todays' very different political context of austerity, cuts, pay restraint and privatisation, closer working between the UK's two major public service unions is a necessity rather than an optional extra. The unity forged in the succesful 2009 Leeds refuse collectors' dispute is a stand out example of the potential industrial strength and mutual reinforcement of a GMB UNISON alliance.

Across education, health, local government and public utilities the scope for joint campaigning is massive, provided that the new alliance is developed not only at national level but in branches, regions and workplaces.