Unite

Unite and a new Popular Front

Author: 

Jim Denham

“ … The [Labour] party’s leaders in parliament know that if they were to lose Unite, there could be an English Syriza formed with more resources and dynamism than the party it would replace”, Counterfire

It hasn’t been widely publicised, but for the last couple of years Unite leader Len McCluskey has been saying that in the event of Labour losing the general election, Unite would seriously consider disaffiliating from the party.

It hasn’t been widely publicised, but for the last couple of years Unite leader Len McCluskey has been saying that in the event of Labour losing the general election, Unite would seriously consider disaffiliating from the party.

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Unions are not to blame for Labour's defeat

Author: 

Dale Street

When Jim Murphy announced he was standing down Murphy claimed that he had been “at the centre of a campaign by the London leadership of Unite the Union, (who) blame myself or the Scottish Labour Party for the defeat of the UK Labour Party in the general election.”

“Sometimes people see it as a badge of honour to have [Unite General Secretary] Mr McCluskey’s support. I see it as a kiss of death to be supported by that type of politics… We cannot have our leaders selected or deselected by the grudges and grievances of one prominent man.”

Jim Murphy may be stepping down as Scottish Labour leader but his pernicious influence on the party is far from finished.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Gemma Short, Charlotte Zalens and Peggy Carter

On Saturday 9 May, over 400 people marched from South Friern library in Barnet, to East Finchley library, then Finchley Church End before finishing at North Finchley library, to protest over proposed cuts to library services in the borough.

The march was joined on the final leg, from Finchley Church End library to North Finchley library by a double decker bus decorated with union banners, and a brass band.

Activists in Barnet have now completed 4 days of action, marching through all the libraries in Barnet.

Protest over library cuts in Barnet; London Met UCU votes to strike; job cuts at Leeds and Bradford colleges; reinstate Candy Udwin!

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Gemma Short

Workers at Barnet council struck on 30 April and 1 May in a dispute over outsourcing up to 80% of jobs.

Workers in all areas of the council apart from schools joined the strike, and a 50-strong picket line was held at North London Business Park, where many council offices are housed. On 1 May, strikers joined the central London May Day march after picket lines in the morning.

If the council does not move, a second phase of strikes will follow on Thursday 21 May and Friday 22 May, and a third on Monday 1 June and Tuesday 2 June.

Workers at Barnet council strike over outsourcing; support from artists for National Gallery strikers; Glasgow homeless caseworkers' strike still strong;

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Len McCluskey: take on the SNP!

Author: 

Ann Field

“I didn’t come to Scotland to criticise the SNP,” said Unite General Secretary Len McCluskey at a public meeting in Saltcoats a fortnight ago, organised by North Ayrshire and Arran Labour Party as part of its campaign to retain the seat for Katy Clark.

McCluskey was as good as his word.

He called for a vote for Labour. He called for a Labour government. He called for, if need be, a minority Labour government rather than one which entered pacts or a coalition with other parties. But he was not prepared to attack the SNP.

Why doesn't the leader of Unite criticise the SNP, the cuts it has made, its nationalism and lack of support for trade unions?

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Gemma Short and Charlotte Zalens

After voting for strikes over outsourcing by 87%, Unison members in Barnet Council will strike on Thursday 30 April and Friday 1 May.

On 1 May Unison hold a march and rally, followed by a members meeting to review the strike and any proposals from the council. If the council has not moved, a second phase of strikes will follow on Thursday 21 May and Friday 22 May, and a third on Monday 1 June and Tuesday 2 June.

Barnet council workers fight privatisation; 165 jobs to be cut at London Met; Lewisham anti-Academies march; Network Rail pay deal rejected; London Underground cuts fightback.

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Unite in talks over London bus drivers' pay

Author: 

Gemma Short

Unite met with Transport for London and bus companies on Thursday 9 April in an on going dispute over bus drivers' pay.

Employers have refused to meet Unite for months. Unite says it will call more strikes if talks don't yield any significant offers.

Unite needs to keep bus drivers in the loop about progress in negotiations, instead of leaving them in the dark until either a deal is reached or more strikes are called.

Unite met with Transport for London and bus companies on Thursday 9 April in an on going dispute over bus drivers' pay.

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Bus strikes suspended

Author: 

Gemma Short

On February 11, Unite called off planned London bus drivers’ strikes scheduled for February 13 and 16.

In a press release Unite described this as laying down the “gauntlet” and “challenging the 18 bus companies to enter talks”. Yet there has been no news of these talks actually happening.

Unite called off planned London bus drivers’ strikes scheduled for February 13 and 16.

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Workers' direct action gets the goods: sacked Crossrail worker reinstated

Author: 

Darren Bedford

Construction workers scored a big win against contractors operating on the Crossrail transport project in central London, after a sacked worker was reinstated within hours of a demo at Crossrail's Oxford Street site.

The worker, who began work on Monday 9 February, raised concerns over safety standards on the site. Despite being told he would have work for three years, he was summarily sacked on Friday 13 February.

Construction workers scored a big win against contractors operating on the Crossrail transport project in central London, after a sacked worker was reinstated within hours of a demo at Crossrail's Oxford Street site.

Trade Unions: 

Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Gemma Short, Charlotte Zalens and Peggy Carter

London bus drivers will strike again for 24 hours on Friday 13 and Monday 16 February in their dispute to level-up pay between bus companies.

This follows a 24 hour strike on Thursday 5 February, and one on Tuesday 13 January. Solidarity visited several picket lines which were lively, confident and staffed throughout the day despite propaganda from Transport for London (TfL) claiming high numbers of services were still running.

London bus strikes; National Gallery sacks union rep; ICO workers' pay strike; cleaners picket BAFTA awards; Tube drivers vote to strike.

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