Janine's blog

TUC Women's Conference: Day One

TUC Women's Conference opened this afternoon in Scarborough. The agenda is a mix of resolutions, the Women's Committee report taken in paragraphs, and various speeches and presentations.

(Pic: The RMT Women's banner adorning the Conference rally)

The first issue discussed was a composite from...

TUC Women Discuss Abortion Rights

Here I am at TUC Women's Conference in Scarborough. Today, I moved RMT's emergency resolution on abortion rights. Here's my speech, plus a report on the debate that followed.

(Pic: The RMT delegation pose in front of the Conference banner in defence of abortion rights)

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Until now, the...

RMT Women's Conference: Day Two

Into the second day for only the second time (RMT's women's conference was a one-day affair until year), the Executive reported on progress with last year's resolutions. One had been ruled out of order in a heavy-handed manner, others have been "progressed" or "linked to other files" or what have...

RMT Women's Conference: Day One


RMT's national women's conference took place on Friday and Saturday last week (2nd and 3rd March), in Doncaster. RMT members can watch the whole thing by webcast by logging on to the members' section. There were 25 delegates - that's about average, but less than there could potentially be due to...

Immigration: John Reid Plumbs New Depths

John Reid just gets worse every time he opens his mouth.


His latest latest pronouncements on the subject of illegal immigration are notable not just for declaring appalling, repressive policies (we're used to that), but also for the Alf-Garnett-Writes-Guest-Column-For-The-Daily-Mail language he...

RMT Accepts Crap Pay Offer: What To Tell The Members?

Here's an awkward situation. Imagine that you are the union rep for a particular workplace (or group of workplaces). Your union accepts a crap pay offer: you disagree with it doing this. But there is another union in the workplace which is significantly worse, and which accepted the same pay offer...

Camels, Eyes Of Needles

One of the many things I remember from my Christian upbringing is that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of Heaven. So Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo must have created either a very large needle or a very small camel, or both.


Pastor...

No Thank You, Mr Cruddas

Jon Cruddas has emailed me, asking for my support to be Labour's Deputy Leader. Perhaps no-one told him I'd been expelled.


I've copied his letter below, and you will notice the emphasis on his survey. And what a vacuous effort it is.


You are invited to indicate which policy area you think is...

Kelly Strikes Again

Ruth Kelly is determined to fight the rise of the BNP. The problem is the method by which she aims to do this – by treating foreigners in a way that the BNP would heartily approve of!


Kelly wants immigrants to learn English. Problem is, she intends to achieve this not by, erm, teaching them...

Fringe Benefits - But What About Core Services?

Today, I spent some time filling in forms to get some additional services for my son Joe, who has Asperger's Syndrome.


Through Hackney Family Back-Up, we can get various services, including a monthly Saturday afternoon club for kids with "challenging behaviour".


Sign him up for 'The Key' -...

British Bosses R Best?


309 jobs are to go as Burberry plans to close its plant in Treorchy and relocate to China, where labour costs are cheaper because there are fewer of those pesky legal protections and union rights.


The workers' union, the GMB, is rightly campaigning against these job cuts, holding numerous...

TUC: In Loco Parentis?

TUC Women's Conference should be accessible to any woman trade unionist elected to respresent her union. But how can it be, when childcare is provided only during formal conference hours and only for pre-school kids?!


A couple of years back, I circulated a letter around TUC Women's Conference...

Annual Leave Increases - Slowly

New Labour has finally decided to increase workers' statutory entitlement to annual leave, to take account of the eight annual public holidays - but the government has made an absurd concession to bosses by giving them over a year and a half to bring in the change.


As previously reported on Jblog...

Packed Meeting Pledges to Defend Hackney Estates


Over 70 Hackney residents packed into a public meeting on Monday evening to protest against Hackney Council's plan to fragment, privatise and over-populate their estates.


I gave the opening speech, largely an updated version on this blog entry from a while back. There was then plenty of...

They Are Not Kids And They Are No Longer United

Shocking news indeed - Sham 69 have split up. Whaddyamean, you had no idea they were still going and assumed they had done the decent thing and split up nearly thirty years ago?! Actually, it was those ageing Hersham Boys who recorded England's official World Cup song last year, which you might not...

Pay: 50 Reasons Why Tube Workers Should Vote Yes To Strike

The text of a leaflet I have put out as RMT rep on Bank group of stations ...

  1. LUL owes you money. You should have had your 4% pay rise last April 1st - nearly ten months ago.
  2. LUL let you go through Xmas without your rise, a nasty action worthy of Scrooge, which left staff struggling with the cost...

Andrew Adonis is a Tory

Andrew Adonis (I somehow can't bring myself to call himself 'Lord') has opened his big, right-wing gob again. This time, he tells us that the closure of grammar schools in the 1960s and '70s was a backward step that "reinforced class divisions" rather than helping those less well off.


Yeah...

The Police, The Courts And Domestic Violence

When I was first active in feminist politics in the 80s and 90s, we did a lot of campaigning to change the Police's treatment of domestic violence victims. We complained about the Police's habit of dismissing violence as "just a domestic", of belittling the women who suffered it and indulging the...

'Business leaders' to run schools?

A government-commissioned report has recommended that schools be allowed to appoint business leaders in place of qualified head teachers. To run a school, you will no longer need to know anything about teaching, or about children - heaven forbid. A robust knowledge of profit-and-loss will do fine...

Liberation and the Left

Today, I am feeling guilty at not having written something for the Carnival Of Socialism, this year hosted by Stroppyblog with the theme of Liberation and Socialism. It's a favourite topic of mine, and my excuse is that (a) I didn't understand what the Carnival was until about a week ago, and (b) in...

Sign to Save Section 12

Please sign this petition against the government's attempts to weaken fire safety standards in underground railway stations.

As petition creator - RMT activist Kebba Jobe - explains, "Following the 1987 Kings Cross Fire which claimed the lives of 31 people the Fire Precautions (Sub Surface...

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