Friday, 15 October 2010

Synchronised ballots have created a chance for unions to work together

The opportunity for co-ordinated union action against the massive cutbacks in the UK economy grew yesterday.
London firefighters voted heavily in favour of strike action over plans to sack them all and re-employ then on less favourable contracts.
The regional committee of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) will meet today to discuss possible strike dates.
As this blog predicted on Sunday BBC union activists have now launched rank-and-file campaign to encourage a no vote in the ballot over new pension proposals.
Read their leaflet
The National Union of Journalists (NUJ), Broadcasting. Entertainment, Cinematograph, and Theatre Union (BECTU), and Unite have already held ballots to allow lawful industrial action at the BBC.
The Rail, Martime, and Transport union (RMT) and Transport Salaried Staffs' Association (TSSA) have an ongoing dispute on the London underground over job cuts.
On Wednesday (October 13) RMT members who work on tube fleet maintenance voted by 88% in favour of industrial action short of a strike over cuts which the union says have left brakes and other equipment in a lethal state of disrepair.
More than 2,000 UK border agency staff, members of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) held a two day strike this week over changes to rosters and roles.
In anticipation of this rash of disputes the Trade Union Congress - the umbrella organisation for British unions - passed a resolution calling for co-ordinated action against cuts in jobs, pensions, and public services.
Strikes are about winning for ordinary workers. The best way to do that is to co-ordinate action to cause the maximum disruption for employers.
Britain's complicated trade union laws make it difficult for unions to synchronise legal strikes.
Having all these ballots completed at once gives a rare chance for joint action.
Union leaders need to talk to each other to stop the TUC resolution from being empty rhetoric.
FBU, NUJ, PCS, and RMT are all part of the Trade Union Co-ordinating Group, which doesn't have a website, but which brings togther a group of eight unions that pledge to work together on things like parliamentary lobbying.
This would seem to be a good time to co-ordinate.

1 comment: