Industrial news in brief

Submitted by AWL on 13 February, 2019 - 11:23

A joint union day of action against outsourcing has been called for Tuesday 26 February, 8 a.m. to noon in London. It is sponsored by the IWGB (Independent Workers of Great Britain, a small new union focused on precarious workers), United Voices of the World (UVW, an organisation similar to IWGB), the BEIS Branch of the PCS civil service union, and the Bakerloo and Finsbury Park branches of the rail union RMT.

The demonstration will coincide with the day the IWGB is facing the government and the University of London in a landmark legal case. If successful, the case could open the door for the UK’s 3.3 million outsourced workers to negotiate directly with their de facto employer.

Unison gags NEC members

Three members of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the public service union Unison, including two Socialist Party members, have been told they breached “collective responsibility” at the NEC meeting of 6 December by speaking against a new rule banning collective campaigning in NEC and Service Group Executive (SGE) elections.

These new procedures stop groups of Unison members getting together to campaign in the election. They follow another motion last year which stopped “outside organisations or companies” making any kind of donation or contribution “in money or in kind” in the elections.

To gag members from speaking in opposition to a policy in an NEC meeting is draconian. Before a policy is even decided, it is an outrage against democratic norms to stop Unison NEC  members from speaking against it. Even outside of meetings, members should be free to criticise and continue to argue for a differing policy. NEC members represent the members that elected them and have a duty to speak out to defend the basics of Unison democracy. The NEC members who fought against these changes are right.

A motion proposed by Salford City Unison to the National Delegate Conference coming up in June 2019 to remove the new rules should be supported.

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