By Alison Gaughan
Members of Socialist Alternative in the UCU recently took a motion to the Yorkshire and Humberside Trades Union Congress Regional Conference, in support of coordinated strike action. We called on the TUC to support all trade unions with a strike mandate to take action simultaneously in order to maximise impact, as a step towards organising a general strike.
We also called for a positive publicity campaign, to actively mobilise the public in support of strikes, and to attend pickets and rallies. A clear plan to organise this would then keep up the momentum behind the recent rise in confidence to fight back among the working class.
Other motions from PCS and South Yorkshire Association of Trades Councils (SYATC) called on the TUC to resist the proposed anti union legislation including the Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill, which would be a further attack on workers democratic right to strike.
Our motion was well supported, and was passed unanimously by the Conference, along with the PCS and SYATC motions. Now we need to ensure that this pledge is fully acted on by our unions. We must remain vigilant that the TUC and local Trades Councils do not let these commitments slide. With a number of subpar offers being put forward for the health, rail and education workers, we need to be ready to reject poor below-inflation offers and organise rank-and-file reps conferences and cross-union strike committees to push for real victories for workers everywhere.
Read more here on what Socialist Alternative says:
- Strike wave as a crossroads: Fight to win!
- Reject the NEU deal: Fight for 12%, fully funded!
- NHS pay offer: Reject and step up the action!
We publish below the motion passed, which Socialist Alternative encourages trade union members to propose and pass in their local branches. If your union body passes this motion, or if you want advice on how to propose this motion in your union, contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Build united action and defend the right to strike
This branch congratulates those unions in our region and beyond who have won industrial action ballots and are taking action for improved pay and conditions. We note that excessive workloads and chronic understaffing are major issues in many of these disputes.
These disputes are about workers’ conditions, and are also about the defence of public services such as health, education and transport.
The government’s failed ‘levelling up’ agenda, combined with years of austerity leaves the public with inadequate public services and infrastructure due to underinvestment in both capital projects and in the staff providing these services. Workers in our region have the power to make ministers listen. Many of our public sector and transport unions already have or will soon have mandates for further industrial action.
The government has totally failed to address the wealth and health inequalities in our region, as well as abandoning their commitment to the spurious ideal of creating a ‘Northern Powerhouse’. This branch supports demands for greater investment in the regional infrastructure, including in education and training.
This branch condemns moves by the Conservative government to restrict further the right to take strike action. We note that there is already failure to provide essential services through underfunding and lack of staffing. This branch will campaign against and support resistance to any further anti-union laws.
This branch will support moves by trade unions and Trades Union Councils to coordinate strike action, strike dates and protests, involving all unions with a mandate for action. Such action will provide a springboard for further coordinated action regionally and nationally and a beacon for other unions still in the balloting phase.
This branch will publicise the dates of such coordinated actions and inform the wider public of how this action benefits communities and how people can support striking workers.