- On Friday of last week Unison made history by becoming the first union to pass policy over climate change. Conference voted to work with the Campaign Against Climate Change and support demonstrations urging that governments take action to curb carbon emissions.
Unison’s Plymouth branch proposed the motion and organised a fringe meeting where camapigner Jonathan Neale explained how unions could play a crucial role in stopping global warming.
- Keith Sonnet, Unison’s deputy general secretary and vice-president of the Stop the War Coalition, spoke at a fringe meeting organised by Stop the War. Delegates also reconfirmed Unison’s condemnation of the occupation of Iraq and the destruction of Fallujah. They voted for the union to work with Stop the War and others to demand the withdrawal of British and US troops.
lIn other debates, Unison conference voted to oppose the government’s ID cards proposals and work with the NO2ID campaign group. The union also reaffirmed its commitment to work with Unite Against Fascism.
- Conference passed a motion against the European constitutional treaty and promised to campaign for a no vote in any British referendum on the matter. The motion said the constitution “enshrines the neo-liberal market model of the economy”, but rejected right wing arguments against Europe. It called for a “socialist critique of current proposals” and pledged that Unison “will only be involved in a progressive coalition” against the treaty.
- Unison general secretary Dave Prentis spoke out in defence of the Sefton Unison activists who have been suspended for opposing council house privatisation in the Merseyside borough. Sefton branch members are being balloted for strike action to defend Nigel Flanagan, Paul Summers, Rose Morrison and Vinnie McIntyre.