More than 300 people are already signed up to the Unite the Resistance convention taking place in London on 19 November.
It’s been called to bring together activists to discuss how to build the biggest possible turnout for the strikes on 30 November.
Phil Turner is an NUJ union rep in South Yorkshire. He said that local activists there are aiming to bring 60 to 70 people along to the convention.
“I’ve been around politics since 1968 and now we have the prospect of the biggest strike in my lifetime—and we can win. At the convention we can get down to talking about how we are going to do it.
“We haven’t seen anything like this since the 1980s,” he said. “If there are 1,000 people in the room it can give confidence to rank and file activists.
“In the workshops we can discuss how to fight for a strategy that can win.
“We need to talk about what comes after 30 November.”
Mark Wood, Unite union convenor at Southampton council and Unite executive council member, told Socialist Worker, “It’s vitally important that lay activists and members get involved in coordinating action. That’s where the activity is going to come from.
“All the unions involved are hoping we get as many people to the conference as possible so we can get some active participation in coordinating that action.”
Phil added, “We distributed Unite the Resistance letters to unions across the city two weeks ago to ask them to sponsor the convention.
“We contacted the NUT, UCU, ATL, PCS, Unison, GMB, Unite, Prospect, FBU and NUJ unions.
“We have around 12 trade unionists booked up so far.
“Locally we are targeting three workplaces every week. We have activists’ meetings set up for the 17 and 31 October, and the transport to London is booked with Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham.
“When Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the PCS civil servants union, offered to speak we jumped at the opportunity.
“There are 7,000 PCS members in Sheffield alone. We have a South Yorkshire public meeting set for 10 November.”
The convention is a way of uniting all those who want to fight, whether in the public or private sector.
Representatives of the electricians who have been taking militant action against employers’ plans to dump agreements and cut pay will be there. So will other private sector workers.
Mark is an Usdaw union rep in north London. “Our union has decided not to call us out on the 30 November,” he said.
“Our branch is very disappointed. We could fight over any number of issues—low pay, casualisation, long hours, the threat of redundancies.
“We are campaigning to join future strikes. In the meantime we will join picket lines and the local demonstration on the day.
“We believe the Unite the Resistance convention can play a vital role uniting public sector and private sector workers together.
“We will be sending five reps and our branch banner to the event.”
Convention is the next step for activists
- Leading trade unionists have called the national Unite the Resistance convention as part of building the 30 November strikes
- It will be held in the Royal Horticultural Halls in London—a major venue which seats 1,500
- Sign up yourself, then sign up your workmates
- Get your trade union branch, student union, anti‑cuts or campaign group to back it
- Download a model motion at http://bit.ly/utrmotion
- If your branch or group backs the convention, ask them to send along a delegation
- Forward the publicity to all organisations and friends who you think might be interested
Sponsors so far
Unite Scottish Housing Branch (Sc 151), Bolton health joint union committee, RMT London Underground Fleet Maintenance, Unite 193 branch (local govt), Unite Cambridge University Press branch, South Yorkshire NUJ branch, NUJ London Magazine, Cardiff Against the Cuts, Notts TUC, PCS IPS London and South Home Office branch, Unite Greater Manchester IT Branch, Unite Fujitsu Manchester reps committee, PCS Euston Revenue and Customs Branch, Hackney Pensioners Association, Campaign Against Climate Change, Defend Council Housing, Cambridgeshire Against The Cuts, Southwark Save Our Services, Unite Hillingdon 1/854 public service branch, GMB SW London General Branch K19, Goldsmiths UCU, Bolton NUT, Wandsworth Against Cuts, Right to Work, Haringey TUC, Kingston Anti Cuts Campaign, Education Activist Network, Waltham Forest Trades Council, UCU London Region, Defend the Right to Protest, GMB s38 Branch, Unison London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, UCU Tower Hamlets College, Unite L&E Aerospace industrial sector committee, UCU King’s College, Usdaw North London branch, Socialist Teachers Alliance, UK Uncut, Unite North West IT and Comms regional industrial sector, Anti Academies Alliance, Islington Hands Off Our Public Services, Sandwell Unison, UCU City and Islington College, Unite London Construction branch Le/0555, North London Usdaw district branch, Islington NUT, Dudley NUT, Wakefield and District NUT, Oxfordshire Anti-Cuts Alliance, Bexley NUT, London Region UCU retired members branch, Black Activists Rising Against Cuts, PCS Central London Valuation Branch, Greenwich and Bexley Trades Council, PCS DFT Nottingham Branch, Lancaster and Morecambe Against the Cuts
Unite the Resistance
Saturday 19 November, 10am to 5pm
Royal Horticultural Halls, 80 Vincent Square, London SW1P 2PE
Tickets £5 waged/£2 unwaged