Wednesday 7 December 2011

UNITE Executive Council statement following November 30th

This Unite Executive Council congratulates the two million trade unionists, including thousands of UNITE members, who struck on November 30th in defence of their pensions and our public services. The EC also welcomes and extends a huge thank you to the general public that supported in their millions and made the day a tremendous success, proving not only that we have public support but that government attempts to divide our communities will fail.

This EC also recognises that this government is stepping up its fight against all working people with its threat to further attack trade union democracy, introduce more anti-trade union legislation and remove and/or further weaken employment protections for all.

This EC believes that the union, working in cooperation with other public sector trade unions needs to now work up a strategic plan to escalate the action to win decent pensions for all. Action that will not only protect the pensions of our public service membership but workers across the private sector facing similar attacks on their pension schemes.

This Executive Council

  • calls for a review of actions taken on the 30 November involving meetings in the regions as well as nationally, to see how we move forward together, share best practice and analyse strengths and weaknesses from the day. Further, we must grasp this opportunity to recruit new members and develop new stewards as part of a revitalised activist’s organisation across the union.
  • supports a plan to further nationally coordinated strike action with other public sector trade unions. The key to winning is to quickly and significantly escalate the action as early as possible in the New Year and coordinating this with private sector actions being planned as employers opportunistically attempt to undermine and/or close pension schemes across our economy.
  • supports a national march in defence of our NHS in the New Year.
  • congratulates the TUC on its coordination of action across our nations in support of each other and calls on all unions to stand together in opposition to government attempts to divide unions and offer terms of settlement to some while continuing the attack on others.
  • condemns the government and their media mogul friends who have tried to divide public and private sector workers with the claim that public sector workers have pensions far better than those enjoyed by their colleagues in the private sector. It’s time to level up not down!
  • notes that private sector workers have seen attacks on their schemes in recent years. There have been a number of strikes and threat of strikes with unions fighting back and winning concessions, despite the law being stacked against them and little legal protection for private sector schemes.
It is clear that 2011 has seen the beginnings of a fight back against government and employer attacks on pensions, wages, jobs and services. Unite must now mobilise its members into mass action. We have demonstrated the appetite of our membership for action on March 26th and November 30th; we must build on this by nurturing our activists, mobilise the millions of workers currently under attack and put the necessary resources into doing so.

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