Extinction Rebellion from October 7th

Extinction Rebellion has invited Unite Rank and File activists to join the rebellion against climate change planned for two weeks starting 7th October.

Extinction Rebellion is the fastest growing environmental non-violent civil disobedience movement in history. It launched on 31st October last year and already has established 485 groups across 473 cities in 72 countries.

From the 7th October, they are planning to launch an International Rebellion that will peacefully take action against criminal inaction on the environmental and ecological crisis of those in power.  They are calling on activists to blockade large sections of London in what they intend to be the biggest act of non-violent civil disobedience in British history.

Extinction Rebellion have in particular gained a profile through asking supporters to risk arrest. They ask this because they believe the urgency of the threat of climate change and ecological collapse requires that some people sacrifice their liberty to disrupt the status quo and draw attention to the urgency of this existential threat.

Irrespective of views on this tactic, Unite Rank & File have previously made the struggle against climate change a key priority, so supporting this campaign fits in with that context.

More information can be found on the XR website: https://rebellion.earth/

 

Join the London strikers against climate change 20 September

Strikers and students from across London will be gathering for a big demonstration at Millbank from 11.30 am on 20th September as part of the global strike against climate change.

The science is clear. We have less than 12 years to stop the worst of runaway climate change and save the planet. Government and big business are dragging their feet so it’s up to us all to come out on to the streets and demand action so young people have a future that’s worth going to school for.

Unite activists in Wandsworth have organised for students, strikers and supporters to meet at Tooting Broadway station at 10 am on the day to hear from local school strikers and activists before travelling to Millbank together via the Underground.

Unite Rank & File is putting this call out to Rank & File members in London to come along. Bring your branch banners and give your supporters to the students and workers striking for tomorrow!

London members to meet 5 October

Site icon, reads Unite rank & file - solidarity across our union

Following two initial meetings over the summer, London Unite Rank & File will be holding a further meetup for all members in the London area.

It will take place at 2 pm on Saturday 5th October at The Dame Alice Owen, 292 St John St, Clerkenwell EC1V 4PA.

The meeting will be an opportunity for members to raise and discuss issues of importance to them that Unite Rank & File members in London can take on to campaign. It will also enable us to discuss how to build among Unite members in London.

The current political situation is very fluid and the meeting will follow the conclusion of the Labour Party conference. One key topic of discussion is likely to be whether and how Unite Rank & File can best take advantage of the current situation.

As we are meeting in a pub, food (slightly pricey) and drink will be available.

Any members planning on attending are asked to please email londonurf@gmail.com to let us know you are coming. Also email that address if you have any agenda items.

Unite Rank and File National Committee: Constitution and Rules

1)    Aims

The Unite Rank and File National Committee (hereinafter referred to as “the Committee”) aims to:

  1. Build solidarity;
  2. Encourage resistance and make our union do more to encourage it;
  3. Put activists in touch with each other, share information and ideas;
  4. Champion independent workers’ organisation and challenge the toxic “in partnership with management” culture so widespread in Unite;
  5. Support the development of rank and file networks and campaigning initiatives throughout our union;
  6. Campaign to reform and reinvigorate Unite’s democratic structures to promote a bottom-up culture where members participate, challenge discrimination and are in control;
  7. Campaign to change Unite policies in the interests of the working class;

2)    Organisation

  1. Supporters of Unite Rank and File who are members of Unite (or its successors) and not employed by a union are eligible to be members of the Committee
  2. The Committee may define minimum levels of financial contribution for Supporters
  3. Officers, other members of the Committee, and an Auditor will be elected by Supporters of Unite Rank and File or, where there are vacancies, may be co-opted by the Committee
  4. The term of office for Committee members is until the next annual meeting of Unite Rank and File Supporters, which will normally be held in the last quarter of the year
  5. Meetings may take place in person or by electronic means
  6. A record of all meetings must be kept
  7. Decisions will be taken by a simple majority vote, and may be at a meeting or otherwise
  8. At least once a year, normally at the first meeting of the year, the Committee will approve the audited accounts for the previous year
  9. Meetings will take place when:
    1. Called by one of the Co-Chairs, or
    2. Agreed by a meeting of Committee members, or
    3. Agreed by a majority of the Officers
  10. Cheque signatories will be the Treasurer, the Co-Chairs, and such other Committee members as the Committee decides
  11. All expenditure shall require two signatures, neither of which may be the payee, a member of their immediate family or someone with the same address
  12. Receipts for all expenditure should be provided to the Treasurer where practicable
  13. The Auditor may not be a member of the Committee

3)    Roles

  1. The Officers will include two Co-Chairs (at least one female), an Editor, Assistant Editors, Treasurer, a Solidarity Coordinator and such other positions as the Committee may decide.
  2. The duties of the Co-Chairs shall be to arrange and notify Committee members of meetings; to chair meetings; to secure agreement of the Committee to the agenda for discussion at each meeting; to secure a full and frank discussion of all matters of contention and an expeditious conduct of uncontentious business.
  3. The Editor and Assistant Editors are responsible for public communication including a web site, social media, email newsletters and leaflets, subject to guidelines approved by the Committee. Where the Editorial team consider a decision contentious, they may decide to refer it to the Officers or to the Committee.
  4. Coordinators covering regions, sectors, equality strands, retired and community members, will, in their parts of Unite, encourage people to become Unite Rank and File Supporters, feed in reports and requests for solidarity, build solidarity, campaign etc. and encourage local networking. Unless the Committee decides otherwise, the Coordinators are not Officers. There will be up to two Coordinators for each area, providing that if there is more than one then at least one must not be male.
  5. The Solidarity Coordinator will gather information about disputes and campaigns and action that can be taken to support them. They will provide this information to the editorial team for dissemination, and work with Coordinators to organise solidarity.
  6. The Committee may delegate decisions to the Officers. In such cases the decisions must be reported to the whole Committee no later than its next meeting.
  7. Decisions to spend money may be taken by the Committee or, if less than £100 in a month, by the Officers.
  8. The duties of the Treasurer shall be to receive and bank all monies due to the Committee; to pay all liabilities incurred by the Committee; to reimburse the Officers and Committee members any expenses they properly incur in carrying out the approved duties assigned to them; to report on the group’s financial position; to prepare an annual income and expenditure account and balance sheet, which shall be presented to the first Committee meeting in each calendar year. The Treasurer shall submit the annual income and expenditure account and balance sheet, together with all relevant paperwork (e.g. the cash book, bank statements and all receipts and copies of invoices), to the Auditor at least one month before the membership meeting at which the annual financial report will be presented.
  9. Audited accounts will be made available within a reasonable time to any Supporter, after redaction of any names that may be required for data protection reasons. All Committee members will be asked to agree to their names being unredacted.
  10. The duties of the Auditor shall be to conduct annually an audit of the financial records maintained by the Treasurer and to certify whether the income and expenditure account and balance sheet prepared by the Treasurer are a true and correct record of the financial transactions and a true and correct statement of the financial position of the group.
  11. The Committee may agree to allow an Officer to delegate part of their duties where appropriate.
  12. Where roles are shared, only one of the people sharing a role can vote on any decision.

4)    Dissolution

The Committee shall be dissolved by a resolution of a special Committee meeting called for this purpose.  Not less than fourteen days’ notice shall be given by a Co-Chair to all Committee members of a meeting at which a motion to dissolve the Committee shall be considered.  The notice of the meeting shall contain the terms of the motion to dissolve the group.

5)    Changes to rules

These rules may be amended by a resolution of a special Committee meeting called for this purpose.  Not less than fourteen days’ notice shall be given by a Co-Chair to all Committee members of a meeting at which one or more motions to amend the rules shall be considered. The notice of the meeting shall contain the terms of the motions to amend the rules of the Committee.

London members’ meeting

 

Unite rank and file icon

Come to our meetup of London members on Tuesday 13th August from 7 pm.

Members of Unite Rank and File in London will be meeting up at The Dame Alice Owen, 292 Saint John Street, Clerkenwell, LONDON EC1V 4PA.

For full details visit our Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/events/2556488434361922/

Leaflet for Unite Rules Conference

Delegates meet in Brighton for Unite’s Rules Conference this week. The new Unite Rank & File leaflet covers the need for resistance to the jobs massacre and to link it to tackling the climate emergency, defending migrants’ rights, sexual harassment and bullying within Unite, some of the proposed rule changes, and the need for solidarity with the indefinite strike at Colloids for the reinstatement of George Gore.

Image of the leaflet

Support the indefinite strike at Colloids #ReinstateGeorge

Unite members at Colloids in Kirkby are in their fifth week of an indefinite strike which began on 20 May for the reinstatement of their victimised rep George Gore. Let’s make sure it feels like they have a million members behind them.

#ReinstateGeorge
Sacked Unite rep George Gore on the picket outside Colloids, Kirkby

Management claim George was sacked for a safety breach, but Unite and workers say that managers are guilty of frequent safety infringements but go unpunished. Workers see the dismissal as an attack on the union. A solidarity rally on 19 June swelled the pickets and no trucks attempted deliveries. Pickets say production has stopped due to the strike, despite un-unionised office staff and a few scabs going in. The strike and increasing leverage activities have brought the company to the table, but workers are determined to stay out until George is reinstated.

Car stopped by picketsPickets, gazebo, banner and flags

Show your support at the 24 hour pickets at Colloids Limited, 10 Kirkby Bank Road, Knowsley, L33 7SY. You can send messages of support to garryg0411@gmail.com. Updates are being posted on the Unite North West Facebook page. Donations payable to “Unite NW/84 Alpla branch” can be sent to Pat Coyne, Unite the union, 100 Hallgate, Wigan, WN1 1HP. Share support for the disputes on social media using #ReinstateGeorge. The image below can be printed for solidarity photos.

I'm supporting striking Colloids workers #ReinstateGeorge

Call to action for a climate general strike

The release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report last autumn was a game changer in laying bare how serious the climate crisis is and how little time we have to turn things around. In the wake of Extinction Rebellion and the massive global school strikes, a call has now been made for a global general strike on the week of the 20th September.

Crowd of young people with banners and placards

Lecturers’ union UCU and bakers’ union BFAWU have already announced their support. We believe its time for Unite to play a leading role in the campaign to stop runaway climate change. As the country’s largest union we should throw our weight behind this campaign and build for the biggest possible strike against the climate crisis in September. The Unite executive meets shortly and we hope they will issue a statement supporting members who want to join the global strike. Striking isn’t easy and every workplace needs support to take the maximum action they can – whatever that is.

UNITE Executive Council votes to increase strike pay

Earlier this year, the UNITE Executive Council voted to significantly increase strike pay (Dispute Benefit). All members now engaged in strike action will receive Dispute Benefit of £50 per day from day one, an increase from £35 previously.

Pickets holding flags
Photo: Mitie Sellafield pickets, Michelle Smith on Facebook

This is unrivalled in the trade union movement. It sends a strong message to those companies intent on exploiting their workforce, that UNITE members will be financially as well as industrially supported and should provide even more confidence and encouragement to members needing to take such action to achieve their objective.

Rules Conference agenda is now out

The agenda for Rules Conference is now out. Delegates and other interested members can access it here:

Final Agenda – Rules Conference 2019