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

Thursday, 11 February 2016

TU Bill attacks human rights. Manchester Rally.

UNISON's North West Region hosted an anti trade union bill rally at the Mechanics Institute Manchester tonight with Angela Raynor MP, Paula Barket, NW Convener, Kevan Nelson, UNISON North West Secretary, UNISON Policy Chair Jane Carolan and Carl Roper of the TUC, Here we cover Jane Carolan's speech in full.

"It was Catch 22 that immortalised the phrase just because you are paranoid doesn’t mean that they are not after you.

Even before the General Election last year we knew a Tory victory would put trade unionism at the forefront of an assault on working people

We didn’t have long before this abomination of a piece of legislation was published.

It attacks human rights, civil liberties, political freedom, the right to organise, the right to strike.

In short it is an attempt to kill resistance to the Tory project from the workplace or the electorate. We don’t fit into a Tory world view. In Thatcher’s famous phrase, we remain the enemy within.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

UNISON must get anti-austerity, workers' rights and anti-TTIP message into EU vote debate

UNISON's Jane Carolan, speaking at today's Institute of Employment Rights Conference outlined the history of the union's position on the EU and the referendum debate ahead. This is the full text of her speech:-

'What happened in Greece was not 
an aberration from EU policies but a 
logical consequence of them.' 
Jane Carolan
"UNISON has no policy from NDC (National Conference) on the issue of leaving the EU. That may surprise some who have seen our regular opposition to policies on the European Union proposed through TUC Congress but there is no contradiction here. Quite simply UNISON’s democratically agreed policies have consistently been ultra-critical of the EU institutions practices and policies BUT not one of the motions that we have passed has actually gone on to propose that as a result the union should commit itself to backing an EU withdrawal.

This goes back to the first national delegate conference of the union. When Nalgo, NUPE and Cohse came together to form UNISON the Nalgo left could see from the proposed rule book that the new union was to be pro public service, anti-privatisation.

However there were a number of policies that had been hard fought for in the old Nalgo that needed to be reiterated in the new union. One was Palestine, where support for the self determination of the Palestinian People had been initially narrowly won in the 80s. A second was opposition to Trident replacement and a commitment defence diversification that remains UNISON policy to this day.

What can I say other than plus ca change…

And the final one was opposition to the Maastricht Treaty.