Wide screen devices may view this page better by clicking here

27 October 2021

Facebook   Twitter

Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Unite policy conference

Significant breakthroughs in policy and workplace organising

Unite the Union, photo Paul Mattsson, photo Paul Mattsson

Unite the Union, photo Paul Mattsson, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Kevin Parslow, Unite union conference delegate (personal capacity)

There was an emotional farewell to Len McCluskey at the recent Unite policy conference, which recorded the progress of the union in the ten years under his leadership. His was an overwhelmingly positive tenure. But the general feeling in the conference was that the election of Sharon Graham as Len's replacement heralds a new beginning.

Significant throughout the conference was the emphasis on workplace organising and the development of 'combines' in different sectors of the economy. This would mean bringing the reps in an industry to discuss common issues and negotiating for better pay and conditions.

The mood of the conference allowed significant breakthroughs in policy. Particularly in local government, where Unite is now committed to "adopt a policy calling on Labour councils to set legal, balanced no-cuts needs-based budgets", in passing a motion from the Local Authorities National Industrial Sector Committee.

And on public services, a motion was passed opposing privatisation and calling for workers' control, which was amended by the LE1228 branch to read: "Publicly owned industries and services should be run with full workers' control and management, involving the participation of trade unions in conjunction with service users."

Significantly, at a fringe entitled 'Time for a Deeper Industrial Strategy', Dave Ward, CWU general secretary, called former militant RMT leader Bob Crow "the greatest trade unionist of our generation", to which Sharon Graham nodded in agreement. If it was to follow a similar path to the RMT under Crow, Unite's million members across most sectors of the economy would prove a powerful challenge to the bosses, and give confidence to millions of workers to fight back against attacks.

Action was also discussed in the fringe meetings, for example with HGV drivers preparing for action at a meeting by 'taking their break' on 1 November at 11am. This could show the potential strength that lorry drivers have in the battle for better pay and conditions in the road haulage industry.

Unite's conference presented the first opportunity for those who campaigned for Sharon's victory to come together and discuss building a new left in Unite. In a pre-conference meeting there was a lot of enthusiasm for a proposal made by Socialist Party members for a public meeting during conference, even offering our own public meeting to facilitate a discussion. However, despite no meeting being called, Zoom meetings are being planned, which should be used as the basis for ensuring Unite's new fighting strategy and policies are implemented by building a new left organisation in the union.

The Socialist Party meeting was nevertheless a success, with 30 delegates, visitors and local workers present. The meeting was addressed by victimised St Mungo's rep Vicko Plevnik, who came to conference to build support for the end of his victimisation (he also addressed the blacklisting meeting called by construction workers in Unite).

Rob Williams from the Socialist Party executive committee, spelt out the fighting programme and tasks needed to build Unite, and there was a discussion on how a new left could be built. 300 was raised for the Socialist Party fighting fund, and three delegates over the week expressed an interest in finding out more about our party.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 27 October 2021:


Budget

TORY BUDGET CON

Public spending under further threat from Tories

Tory NHS funding won't fix staff shortage

Public sector pay thaw - union fight is on for a real rise and funding


Fighting sexual harassment

Fighting sexism and harassment, and for a safe night out


Climate change

Tory climate plans set to fail - socialist planning needed

COP26: protest for Socialist change to reverse climate chaos

Youth climate protests

News in brief


Workplace news

Unite policy conference

Gwent Stagecoach workers driving for victory on pay

Clarks shoe workers strike to give 'fire and rehire' the boot

Royal Mail workers stand against 'unachievable workloads'

GPs vote to reject government plans

Workplace news in brief


Campaigns

The fight for Hackney's children's centres continues

Southampton People's budget Building an alternative to Tory and Labour austerity

Save Southall youth centre - stop all cuts

Carlisle says make the richest pay, not the poorest!


International

Military coup in Sudan - Defiant masses take to the streets


Readers' opinion

TV review Maid

TV review The Riots 2011: One Week in August


 

Home   |   The Socialist 27 October 2021   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Unite:

triangleLeeds cab drivers protest against taxi rank move

triangleSt Mungo's report fails to address bullying and victimisation of workers

triangleWeetabix workers escalate action in crunch dispute

triangleSupport for all-out scaffs strike spreads

triangleUnite leaflets supermarkets to build support for Weetabix fire and rehire strike

Workers:

triangleSupport uni workers' walk-out on pay and pensions

triangleHistoric victory of India's farmers

triangleThe struggle for accessible workplaces and an inclusive society

triangleChartism: The world's first working-class movement

Socialist:

triangleWhat did you think of Socialism 2021?

triangleSelling the Socialist

triangleObituary: Ted Austin (1940-2021) - working-class socialist stalwart

Socialist Party:

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: China - 1928 to the 1949 revolution

triangleSocialism 2021: A steely determination to change society

Sharon Graham:

triangleUnite conference

Article dated 27 October 2021

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

MEMBER RESOURCES

Pay in Fighting Fund

Pay in paper and book sales

Leaflets

Bulk book orders

New member submission

WHAT'S ON

triangle29 Nov Leeds Socialist Party: Fighting gender biased violence

triangle30 Nov Caerphilly & RCT Socialist Party: A civil war without guns - Miners' strike 1984-5

triangle30 Nov Cardiff West Socialist Party: Lessons of October - The Russian Revolution 1917

More...


The Socialist, weekly newspaper of the Socialist Party

News

NHS

Violence against women

Socialism 2021

Workplace news

International news

Working class history

Obituary

Campaigns

Subscribespacer|spacerebook / Kindlespacer|spacerPDF versionspacer|spacerText / Printspacer|spacer1157 onlinespacer|spacerBack issuesspacer|spacer Audio files


Socialism 2021 rally, Saturday 20th November 2021: Our future at stake - What now for the struggle for socialism?

More videos ...

What We Stand For
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Platform setting: =

Desktop version