Members of Unite Rank & File in London are next meeting at the following time and place:
7 pm Thursday 7th November at The Dame Alice Owen in ClerkenwellThe Pearl & Feather, 360 St John Street, Clerkenwell
This follows a successful meeting earlier this month at which decisions were taken to work with trade union activists involved in the current Extinction Rebellion protests and plan for solidarity around a possible strike by Royal Mail over the autumn.
The forthcoming meeting will allow people to review progress so far and think through the next steps.
We look forward to seeing you there!
As we are meeting in a pub, food (slightly pricey) and drink will be available. If you are planning to attend please email firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know you are coming.
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/
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 email@example.com to let us know you are coming. Also email that address if you have any agenda items.
Unite will be holding its next Policy Conference in Brighton 2-6 July 2018. This is the opportunity for every member to shape our union’s policy. The process is already under way, with branches and committees sending in motions for the conference agenda. If you want to get a motion onto the agenda, you need to act now. Motions have to be agreed by a branch or committee and sent in to Unite HQ no later than 9 February 2018.
Step one is to draft your motion. There are full guidelines here. If you’ve never done it before, don’t be put off, but do ask for help if you need it.
Each branch and each constitutional committee (i.e. Regional & National Industrial Sector Committee; Regional & National Equality Committee, Regional Committee, Area Activist Committee) can submit one motion on any general policy topic (i.e. not about a particular sector and not requiring a change to Unite’s rules). The National Retired Members’ Committee and each Regional Retired Members’ Co-ordinating Committees can also submit one motion each, but these can only be on about matters solely pertaining to members in retirement.
The meetings held round the country before Unite Rank & File launched came up with lots of ideas, including areas where we can campaign to improve union policy. Note that there’s no need to submit motions to restate existing policy – motions should change existing policy or add to it.
Here are some suggestions to get you thinking – feel free to comment with your own ideas or what you’ve already submitted:
Organising / industrial action:
Disputes unit support, focused on winning, not just legal compliance, for all disputes from an early stage
Improve support for company and sub-sector combines
Increasing lay member involvement in organising
Response to the Trade Union Act 2016
Review / overhaul Unite education in the light of government funding cuts
Facility for levies (e.g. for strike funds) by workplace / employer, not just branch – for many members branch doesn’t directly match employer / workplace
Recruitment and organising of migrant workers and refugees
Democracy / accountability:
Review of Unite structures to better support members in multi-region employers
Investigate the role of union officials in blacklisting, and support the Blacklist Support Group
Policy against officers approaching employers over the heads of reps / branch officers
Tackle non-functioning branches so members aren’t left without a functioning branch for long periods
Improve Unite grievance and complaint procedures
Change General Secretary elections to Single Transferable Vote
Ban branches passing member data to campaigns or third parties during Unite elections
Ban Unite employees (other than candidates) from campaigning in Unite elections
Official videoed hustings for Unite elections
Limit the General Secretary’s wage
Facilitation and control of communication with members during union elections
Require disclosure / control over fundraising and expenditure during union elections
Put equality on the agenda of all branch and constitutional committee meetings
Make regional women’s and equality officer roles full time (or job share)
Review equality structures to ensure they are effective in representing each equality group, championing its issues, and promoting participation
Extend the recommendations from the report on women officers in Unite to all employees
Improve equality training for lay and full-time officers, reps and members
Including impact on members without UK citizenship and members working overseas in materials about impact of Brexit on workers’ rights
Workers’ rights to live and work where they want
Trans rights and Gender Recognition
Cuts and privatisation
Councils implementing cuts
Diversification from destructive projects to good, socially useful, jobs