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

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Protest to Survive?

'Since 2011, the trade union movement has focused on building A to B marches and ‘co-ordinated strike action’, bringing together multiple sectors of the economy for a set of largely symbolic and defensive one-day strikes. This strategy has since witnessed a slow death by repetition' writes Michael Chessum on the New Statesman's blog reflecting on last Saturday's Britain Needs a Pay Rise march in London and simultaneous protests in Belfast and Glasgow.
     Over the conference season and in UNISON's In Focus magazine a much needed 'Autumn of Action' was launched to defeat public sector pay restraint but even before our clocks were turned back this strategy foundered as the NJC unions, first GMB and Unite (a crucial fact omitted by Chessum) and then UNISON, suspended the 14 October local government strike. Treasury claims that since 2010 pay restraint has removed £12bn from the pocket of public sector workers with minimal union resistance provides hard evidence to support Chessum's polemic that unions will need to raise our game if we are to defeat the 'entrenched Thatcherite consensus' which promises us further austerity and pay freezes regardless of next May's General Election outcome.