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4 October 2017

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Unison attacks Barts deal after failing to ballot their members for strike action

Barts strikers, 15 July 2017, photo Paul Mattsson

Barts strikers, 15 July 2017, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Paula Mitchell, London Socialist Party

Unison unelected officials, not even employed by Barts Health Trust or Serco, have put out a leaflet that attacks Unite the Union and the Socialist Party following the deal that concluded the recent Barts dispute.

After Unite members' meetings on all sites and a democratic ballot, cleaners, porters and catering staff voted to accept the offer made by Serco.

It isn't what workers were originally demanding, but the stewards and workers decided to bank it as a step forward, and prepare for pay talks starting this month on next year's pay.

Make no mistake, it is strike action and bold campaigning that brought Serco to the table.

24-days of strike action brought the brightest of pickets to Whipps Cross, the Royal London, Mile End and St Barts.

Unison should have balloted their members to come out on strike as well in a united campaign, which is what Unite members wanted. Then, more might have been won. Instead, they tried to undermine the dispute while it was going on.

And now, unbelievably, they are asking Unison members to vote no to the offer! Workers must not let Unison's right-wing leadership snatch away what you have won

This underlines why so many porters and cleaners moved over to Unite in the first place. The Socialist Workers Party has once again stated its opposition to this move, on the basis that the workforce was split. But Unite represents the vast majority of Barts Serco employees. Obviously the dispute would have been better if Unison had come out on strike. But if workers had stayed in Unison there would have been no fight at all!

Unison is a big union with over a million members, and huge potential power. It is vital to campaign to change it into a democratic, fighting union. Socialist Party members in Unison have taken a lead in that battle for years and still do.

But it is also important that individual workforces are able to organise and defend themselves. They need to be able to take action when necessary.

And of course, it is vital that workers struggle to maintain democratic control of their own disputes and for a fighting leadership, no matter what union they are in.

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In The Socialist 4 October 2017:


Catalonia

Solidarity with Catalonia - the people have the right to decide

Exemplary resistance by the people of Catalonia

Eyewitness: Irish socialist MP participates in events


What we think

The Tories must be driven out


Socialist Party workplace news

Royal Mail workers set for national strike action

Unison attacks Barts deal after failing to ballot their members for strike action

RMT strikes against removal of train guards spreads

University of Leeds workers walk out

ThyssenKrupp - Tata steel merger


Che Guevara

Revolutionary socialist Che Guevara 50 years on


Labour Party conference

Labour Party conference: Action against establishment sabotage still needed


Socialist Party news and analysis

Capitalism and human progress

Monarch abdicates responsibility to workers

Bending the knee v Trump


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Tories wreck our NHS

11,000 raised in three weeks for fighting fund

Why I joined: I wanted to change things

Chatsworth ward campaign replies to Tory MP's intervention

Surveying Labour councillors - will they fight cuts?

Leeds Socialist Students marks 'International Safe Abortion Day'

Protest outside Ukip conference against German far-right speaker


 

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Related links:

Barts:

triangleNorth London Socialist Party: Save our NHS - the lessons of the Barts strike

triangleNHS we're ready to fight

triangleSustained mass movement needed to stop Tories wrecking our NHS

triangleSerco - not fit for purpose

triangleNorth London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses

Unison:

triangleUnison NEC elections: United left challenge needed to fight slaughter of jobs and services

triangleUnison get sec election shows left can win NEC

triangle

Unison general secretary ballot closes

Strike:

triangleWorkers strike and protest

triangleThurrock council workers striking against pay cuts, photo Dave Murray

triangleSPS Technologies workers end strike after management backs down

Workers:

triangleTensions escalate in Northern Ireland

triangle1920s-30s Britain: A working-class movement fighting unemployment and capitalism

Unite:

triangleSt Mungo's maintenance workers on indefinite strike

London:

triangleWest London Socialist Party: Is China at all socialist?

Whipps Cross:

triangleObituary - Jeff Edwards

Socialist Workers Party:

triangleTommy Robinson BBC demo: socialist fightback needed to undermine far right

Article dated 4 October 2017

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Thurrock council workers striking against pay cuts, photo by Dave Murray

Thurrock council workers striking against pay cuts, photo Dave Murray

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