Monday 4 February 2008

Goodrich Aerospace strike for pensions - and using Facebook to campaign

I understand that UNITE members at Goodrich Aerospace have chosen their next strike day in their campaign to defend pensions - Monday 11th February.

Given that there is clearly another round of attacks on pension funds in our own (EEE&IT) sector, it is particularly important that members support our colleagues in Goodrich. A win there would show it is possible to defend our pensions, and the value of unions in doing so. The partial win at BAA over Xmas had quite an impact, even though a settlement was achieved before the action started.

The increasing use of Facebook in disputes is interesting. I've been trying it out for a little while, trying to work out whether it's just a way of getting addicted and wasting vast amounts of time, or whether you can actually use it. I think the answer is "both".

There are Facebook groups for "Goodrich Industrial Action", and for "Defend Karen Reissmann - Defend the NHS" as well as a general one for UNITE. The most useful aspects I've found so far are:

  1. the ability to create an "Event" linked to a "Group", allowing you to invite all members of the group to the event very easily
  2. the ability to send messages to all members of a group
  3. I like the way Goodrich strikers have set up a "Guest Book" as a way of collecting messages of support
Of course, the reason why these features are useful is that membership can snowball, with people stumbling across the group and joining, but more importantly with people inviting friends who invite their friends. The Karen Reissmann group currently has 833 members - worth using!

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