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

Saturday, 25 August 2012

COSATU statement on Marikana Massacre

COSATU has issued a strong statement expressing 'shock and dismay' at the loss of life in the tragic events in Marikana and reiterating its heartfelt condolences to the families and fellow workers of those who perished. Calling for an end to police brutality and over-reaction it also calls for everyone to abandon 'dangerous weapons'. Most of all it calls for unity in defending the miners' cause: "Our enemy is not ourselves or some amongst ourselves - our enemy remains the capitalist system that exploits workers and robs them of the social surplus". Read the full statement here http://www.cosatu.org.za/show.php?ID=6437

Unity of NJC Unions in LGPS campaign augurs well for Pay battles ahead

This week’s resounding YES vote in GMB, Unite and UNISON signifies more than a consensus across the local government workforce in England and Wales that the new LGPS represents a positive outcome to a hard fought industrial and political campaign:

Since the Independent Public Service Pensions Commission (Hutton review) was launched by the newly elected Con Dem Government back in June 2010, the local government unions mounted an effective joint campaign.

Blockade by Dan Marlin

The people of Gaza want libraries.
Every day they read
clouds of questions
in their children’s eyes.

Friday, 24 August 2012

90% vote to back New LGPS for England & Wales

UNISON members across England and Wales have voted 90.2% in favour of accepting the proposed changes to the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS).

The phoney case for regional pay

A superb new IDS report, commissioned by UNISON, nails the big lie which underpins the Con Dem case for regional pay for public service workers - that supposedly public sector pay levels ‘crowd out private sector investment and job creation': http://bit.ly/ReJOHk

Plaque unveiled to commemorate Liverpool workers killed during 1911 Transport Strike

Last Saturday Merseyside trade unionists commemorated the lives and deaths of Michael Prendergast and John Sutcliffe, two workers shot dead by soldiers in the Vauxhall Road area of Liverpool on 15th August 1911 during the Transport Strike. Unite General Secretary Len McCluskey unveiled a plaque to ‘mark the sacrifices they made for fighting for trade union and political rights':
www.catalystmedia.org.uk/issues/misc/articles/vauxhall_road_plaque.php For more on Liverpool’s Bloody Tuesday go to:

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Reflections on 2012 Olympics opening ceremony & Unions as a socio-economic driving force

Danny Boyle’s brilliant display at the opening of the London Olympics has rightly been widely acclaimed. It represented the real history of these Isles – a history of exploitation, class struggle and political achievement; rather than a history of stately homes, King’s and Queen’s, and the National Trust, writes Keith Ewing.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Europe’s Debt Crisis - failing to learn lessons of history

Some old philosopher somewhere once wrote that “Those who fail to learn the lessons of history are condemned to repeat them.” Larry Elliott in the Guardian aptly demonstrates the truth of that maxim in his analysis of  the Eurocrats currently dealing with the Eurocrisis that has manifest itself  within the Eurozone, demonstrating the economic history is not  their strong point. http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/aug/19/eurozone-latin-america-debt-crisis-1980

Nuke the Con Dems not our Public Services

In the face of overwhelming evidence that austerity isn’t working, the Daily Mail reports that Tory Chancellor George Osborne is planning ‘nuclear public spending cuts’ in response to increased Government borrowing - owing to ‘a dramatic slump in tax receipts and a surge in spending on benefits’ – both symptomatic of the Con Dem mismanagement of the economy:

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

The Impact of Settlements on Palestinians in the Jordan Valley

Many UNISON members support and use products supplied by Zaytoun - a company which was founded in 2004 to provide a UK market for Palestinian farming products. A new Oxfam report highlights the difficulties faced by farmers in the Jordan Valley, from where Zaytoun sources dates:

Monday, 20 August 2012

Capital cities join to back public services during festival

Edinburgh and London UNISON members are bringing the acclaimed "A Tale of Two Barnets" film to the city during the Edinburgh festival today to highlight the dangers of wholesale privatisation of council services. The film has had the rare privilege of being shown at the House of Commons and has been warmly received in over 30 showings across the London borough and beyond.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Privately-Owned Banks Create and Destroy Money at Will

John Waters, writing in the Irish Times, has been discussing the power of the banking sector. Pertinent for a country bought to its knees by bankers who created the country's greatest property speculation bubble on the back of their money creation powers, destroying pensions and public services when the banks failed: ‘When you extend to bankers the power to create money ex nihilo, you can hardly be surprised if they start to believe themselves superhuman’ http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2012/0727/1224320884392.html

Colony Collapse Disorder by Peleg Held

The sun is going down, beautiful winged sister.

But this night you will not look toward the hive.

This night, spread out in an isolation

conducted by fate, nectar and the wind,

you and yours will spill a testament into the wet grass.