Socialist Worker

'You can convince workers that it's worth fighting austerity'

by Raymie Kiernan
Issue No. 2477

Unite the Resistance will hold a national conference on Saturday 14 November in central London.

Its key theme is Defending Our Unions and Organising To Win. It will also discuss how to counter attempts to divide working class people by scapegoating migrant workers, benefit claimants and disabled people.

Speakers include FBU general secretary Matt Wrack, reinstated PCS union rep Candy Udwin, John Hendy QC and disabled activist Paula Peters.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell and trade unionists from Greece will also speak.

The conference is catching a mood.

Portsmouth City Unison union chair Jon Woods explained, “We got a great response leafleting at a local meeting of Momentum for the conference. Lots of contacts want to go—we have a minibus.”

Jon’s branch and Portsmouth trades council are officially backing the conference. “It fits really well with the debate about how we need a movement to strengthen the anti-austerity arguments that Jeremy Corbyn is making,” said Jon.

Weaken

The Tories want to drive through deeper austerity and fear the anger spilling into workplaces. That’s why they want to weaken the unions. The conference is an opportunity to deepen the networks of organised workers needed to mount effective resistance.

John Burgess is branch secretary of Barnet Unison in north London and is standing for general secretary of the union. He will also speak at the conference. 

 “I hope the event will bring together those of us wanting to fight and organise,” John told Socialist Worker.

“I know from personal experience you can convince workers it is worth fighting against austerity. 

“Corbyn has energised the anti-austerity movement, but we need to build on that momentum in the workplace.

“The Tories’ anti-worker bill has thrown down the gauntlet to the trade unions.

“Rallies and protests are good for building confidence and alliances, but without strikes it isn’t enough.” 

Workers spoke to Socialist Worker in a personal capacity. For more details go to uniteresist.org

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